Home Sweet Home

The trip to Italy was incredible!  So much to see.  So much to absorb.  So much to ponder.  We began our days in Rome itself, visiting such places as the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum, a labyrinth of catacombs, and several museums.  We visited the Vatican and spent much time with our necks craned as we studied the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  We walked along a portion of the still existing Appian Way, our feet perhaps touching the same stones the apostle Paul’s graced as he was marched into Rome by the Praetorian Guard.  We gazed upon some of the same mosaics and sculptures which decorated the walls and floors of Caesar’s household.  We studied some of the Christian symbols which adorned the tunnels of many of the burial sites.

We traveled away from Rome to visit the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of which were simultaneously destroyed and preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius during the latter part of the first century A.D.  Pompeii, a large but relatively humble city, was devastated as a result of raining ash, while the comparatively small but wealthy and advanced city of Herculaneum was taken by lava flow.  Both sites provided glimpses into the past.  Glimpses which both fed the imagination and contributed to understanding.

During our free days, my husband and I traveled with several fellow group members to the famous city of Venice.  We joined two of our friends for a ride in a gondola, and we spent much of the rest of our time simply strolling along the quaint, narrow streets of San Marco.  It was a nice change, allowing us to recover somewhat from the frenetic pace we had adopted for the earlier part of the trip.

I feel profoundly blessed to report that I had several opportunities to do as I had planned.  That is, to imagine how it might have been for early Christians in Rome and surrounding towns, and to apply the legacy of their lives to my own existence.  I was, as I expected I would be, humbled.  I was drawn ever closer to my Lord and Savior as a result of my musings, and I am thankful that He allowed me to partake in such a deeply challenging journey.

But as I alluded in my blog title, it’s good to be home.

Aside from the obvious—a reunion with my precious children and a great night of sleep—coming home was a return to familiarity.  A reminder of just how blessed I am.

I live in the greatest country in the world, and I am surrounded by love.  I have the freedom to write what is on my heart, and I have the opportunity to put my words before an audience.  I live a humble life by the standards of many on this continent, yet am still considered to be among the wealthiest according to the world’s statistics.  I have taken much for granted, and have never known lasting hunger.  I have done without, but have never truly lacked anything.  God has supplied all my needs, and many of my wants.  Life is not always easy, but it is never more than my soul can bear.

And with the assurance of my inheritance—my even grander home which awaits me—guaranteed, then the otherwise uncomfortable edges are dulled by reminders of the coming fulfillment of the promise, and my life is all the sweeter as a result.

And so, I leave you with these words.  Words which have been revived after a gradual decline into complacently.  Words which again encompass for me even more sentiment than they had in a long time.  Words which are now more alive for me than they have been in years.  Words which convey it all, for now, and forever.

Home sweet Home.


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