Coming home. There is always something special about coming home. From the days of coming home from vacation as a child to the days of coming home from college, coming back to the place we rest our head is always a special day.
There are many memories of my kids’ baby days that have escaped my mind, but one day that always seems to remain is the “coming home day.” Perhaps because it is by nature a day of mixed emotions, ranging from formidable stress to sheer exuberance and excitement. The stress usually makes its appearance through the myriad of questions that catapult across your mind. Is this really happening? Am I really old enough to take care of this little being? What if I drop him? How am I going to get up every night with him? Am I old enough for this? The stress of being on your own for the first time with this fragile little human being can be a little overwhelming.
On the other hand, the sheer exuberance of the day is intoxicating as well. Without fail, on the days I took my four little ones home, I always broke into tears at the same moment each time. The last time the nurse verified that it was indeed my baby by reading the numbers on the baby’s wristband. Funny how a simple act done time and time again while I was in the hospital would have such a profound and ceremonial effect the last time. But it does. It is as if there is a ceremonial passing on of the baby from the baby professionals to the baby un-professionals— mom and dad. When those numbers were read, the truth of the fact that I had a baby cemented itself in my mind. He was mine, all mine. Mine to love and mine to hold. Mine to cuddle and hug. Mine to kiss and rock and cradle and bounce. Mine to take care of, nurture, and protect. I had entered the hospital as a pregnant woman and was leaving it a mom. A major life transformation had taken place in a matter of days. And this tiny little bundle with a wristband of numbers on his arm would be mine forever. Wow. No wonder I cried.
It is funny how a single event can be a strange mix of good and bad…stress and excitement, fear and exuberance, all wrapped up in the same moment. But then again, that is the mystery of life, is it not? Life is a paradoxical mix of good and bad. One minute you are engulfed in the beauty of the world, the joy of love, the warmth of goodness, the next minute the reality of pain and sickness and hardship hits you in the face so hard you can hardly believe you ever for a moment forgot it. In fact, you almost feel guilty for that brief moment of enjoying the good. For how can you enjoy the good when there is so much of the bad?
Oh…how I long for that great coming home day…when there will be no more death or crying or pain…when the tears will be gone and there will be only beauty and love and goodness to enjoy. And yet, at that very same moment, back in this world, my coming home day will create pain and sadness in the hearts of those I leave behind. And the paradox continues….
Ahhh…come Lord Jesus.