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A Week of Homecomings Posted 7.25.2013

It has been a week of homecomings.  I so enjoyed watching (via Facebook) the grand reunion of Dan Bentley with his wife, Becca, and their three children.  Dan has served our country in Afghanistan for the past six months.  That’s a very, very long time to be away from your family.  So, coming home is huge deal, and from what I could see, it was a wonderful moment.  I’ve never been gone that long from my family, so I really can’t relate – I’m so ready to get back after a couple of weeks that my heart aches for our military families.  So, thanks for your service, Dan and Becca, and welcome home.  Those must be some of the most treasured moments of life.

 

There was a second homecoming this week.  I got a call Monday evening that things were not looking good for our dear friend, Jim Maier.  It was a sad phone call.  I would go pray with him on Tuesday.  At least that was my plan.  God had other ideas.

 

Within fifteen minutes I got a second call.  Jim was gone.  He was home.  My reaction was more selfish at this news – I was heartbroken.  But I knew my pain paled in comparison to the wonderful family he had just left behind.  But for Jim, he was where God wanted him to be.  With Jesus.  In the last weeks of life there was nothing more on Jim’s lips than that he just wanted what God wanted.  Of course his preference was to come home and enjoy his family and life – but if that was not the will of God, then Jim was ready for whatever path God chose.  His faith prepared the way.

 

God chose to take him home.  And it couldn’t have been any clearer (at least to me) that God made the choice of the time for his departure.  Jim was ready.  As ready as anyone ever could be.

 

I will miss his hulking presence, his huge smile, his deep faith, and his compassion for the things of God, and his ever-present love for Jesus.  I will never be the same for having crossed paths with Jim Maier.  And neither will our church.  We are thankful for the days we had together and are more like Jesus because we walked a while with him.

 

It was a week of homecomings.  The Bentley homecoming reminded me of the overwhelming joy when you are on the ‘home’ side of the ‘coming’.  The English language cannot convey the joy of that moment of reunion – with Jesus.  The Maier homecoming reminded me of the pivotal nature of resurrection to our faith.  Without the hope of ‘home,’ what’s the point of it all? There is nothing to ‘come’ to.

 

We really can rejoice in both homecomings this week, because of Jesus. We welcome Dan home.  And, we welcome Jim home, by faith.  May the joy of one bleed over into the other.  And let us walk by faith and not by sight.  Easier said than done I suppose.

 


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