As I write today, I am in a Central Asian country on a trip for BGR. I am having the privilege of viewing some great hunger projects as well as training some of our local partners.
On the flight in a few days ago, I had an interesting experience. It was of course a rather long time traveling to get here from the USA and I was a bit sleepy and in a daze as our plane started its initial descent into the country.
Sitting in front of me was an elderly mother and her her middle aged daughter. They were obviously coming home to their country after an extended time out. Even though I couldn't understand them (because of language differences), I could see that they were nervous and even a bit anxious as the plane started to land.
We were arriving at the break of dawn so it was hard to see out of the plane's window through the glare of the rising sun. But as we began to lower, the landscape below began to come into sight.
What we saw was the country laid out below us: Arid, barren, treeless, desert and mountainous. Dust was swirling, the mountains were devoid of any vegetation and there were initially a few small buildings (what I would describe as hovels) in our view. In my eye, pretty desolate and bleak.
But I noticed that the anxiousness I detected earlier in the older woman and her daughter in front of me began to turn into excitement, even giddiness! As they saw what I considered a depressing site, they began to laugh and cry and, as best as possible while strapped into a landing airplane, jump up and down with anticipation. They began almost shouting and weeping - obvious shouts of joy, even though I could not understand them.
Then I thought. They are coming home and it must have been many, many years since they had been there. They were delighted and overwhelmed with joy to see their homeland once again.
While I looked out and saw nothingness, they saw home. Where I saw barren mountains and desert, they saw a beloved place. Truthfully, I could not imagine why anyone would be excited to see what I was seeing. But then again, it wasn't my home.
I wonder if you and I are looking forward to that day with the same expectation and anticipation as these two ladies - to the day when we finally get to our final home? I wonder if we are really looking for that city that is a new creation, whose designer and builder is the Lord of all creation? I wonder if we will laugh, weep and even cry as it comes into our sight just like these two women?
Sometimes, I get fooled into thinking that this life is the best that God has to offer. In reality, there will be nothing like our going home.