I was able to take a short trip back to Madison. My first trip back since I moved. When I arrived, I discovered it was the little things that made me nostalgic. Pedestrians that overflow the sidewalks into the streets. A casual coffee-shop-style restaurant with a vibe far different from a chain. Crowds mixed with artsy college students, professional academics, and retired urban couples. Recycle bins readily available. Wisconsin beers on tap. Bicycles tightly packed into a long rack.
Madison feels like home. I recognize landmarks. I am familiar with restaurants. I have a sense of direction on the roads. I have an unspoken connection to the city; We understand each other.
I was able to get together with a few close friends while we were there. That’s when Madison really felt like the place I belonged. Deep conversation. Shared history. Easy laughter. Unspoken understanding. I am at home in those friendships.
Though the visit was less than 24 hours, it was rich, beautiful, and needed. Whether brought about by people or places, the feeling of home is a blessing. It is a profound sense of peace. It is a deep breath for my soul.
In reality, though, nothing on earth is my home. 1 Peter 2:11 says we are aliens and strangers here. Philippians 3:20 says that our citizenship is in heaven.
One day, we will have a new home. Jesus says
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” –John 14:1-3
Imagine what it will be like to feel at home all the time. To feel at home where we are. To feel at home with who we are with. To feel at home in our own skin.
It will be more than a deep breath for our souls. It will be a new life for our souls. That thought brings me joy today.