The Homecoming

by Rhonda, August 22, 2022

I wake this morning to the sound of geese outside of my window.  A large flock has flown into the nearby pond, and they're not quiet about their morning routines.  It isn't the optimal time to wake up on a Saturday, but I accept they're not the quietest neighbors.  I get up and make my way to the coffee machine.  

Oh how I love my Keurig.

I am happy to be home this morning, and it feels good to wake up and not have to hit the ground running.  As with anyone who works, sometimes work ebbs and flows.  This week, it flowed, and I spent nearly every waking hour in the city.  I live in a rural area, on a few acres, and my life here suits my introverted personality.  But, the job doesn't always accommodate rural living, and while it can be somewhat flexible, this week working from home wasn't an option.  I spent the week in the city, working in an office high in the sky, with views of concrete.

I make my way to the back porch, my first time sitting on my beloved deck in a week.  I haven't seen my kids much this week, and they're sleeping through the noisy goose party this Saturday morning.  I am looking forward to spending time with them this weekend.  

I sip my coffee on the deck, inhaling the peaceful morning.  My dog, Tucker, jumps onto the chair beside me.  

Tucker is a beast of a creature.  He's a small black dog with a few brown spots.  That's probably the extent of my description, because he doesn't resemble any particular breed.  He's a true mutt.  He's adorable, but he's mean.  I took Tucker in from an abusive situation, so he has his reasons for his craziness.  But, he trusts me fully, and I have no doubt he would give his little life defending me if there were ever a need.

He and I have been through a lot of work together.  I suppose that's one of my gifts, earning trust over time.  I have worked with Tucker time and time again, proving to him that I won't hurt him.  I understand that underneath his difficult personality lies a history of abuse and fear.  It took me six months to get Tucker to allow me to touch his tail, because his former owner had picked him up by his tail.  Even now, a year later, he doesn't let anyone else touch his tail.

Tucker is ecstatic to see me after a week of work in the city.  He follows me around the house everywhere I go, and he growls at the other dogs who try to get near to me.  I pet him and move on with my morning coffee.  He will calm down once we've had some time together.

I set my time on my phone to do Five Steps, and I open my journal.  It feels good to find my way back to God.  It wasn't that I left Him, but I didn't have the time this week to enjoy His presence like I would have preferred.  Life happens that way sometimes, but Jesus is always there, extending an open invitation to return to His presence, His peace, without any hesitation.

I finish my Five Steps and a few members of the house have stirred.  My daughter and my father join me on the deck, eager to catch up and talk about what I've missed over the last week.  I talk with my Dad about the garden, and I talk with my daughter about the latest drama at her work.  I refill my coffee for the second time, because there's much to say and one cup isn't enough.

I thoroughly enjoy the time.  I've missed them so much.  I rest on my deck, in the arms of God, listening to my daughter and my father talk.  

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God calls us to come to Him when we need rest, and isn't it His gentleness that gives us rest?  Isn't it the way He's so tender with his mercies and loving with His kindness?  He reminds us to be gentle when the world is loud and harsh.  He's quiet and lowly in heart.  He stops the insanity of the schedule, the hurry of our hearts.  He slows everything down, teaches us gentleness once again, and calls us to His arms for restoration.  

Hurry is never gentle. 

As I relax, I wonder if Jesus ever felt hurried.  I wonder if He was ever tired of being rushed, if He ever felt the schedule was too much.  Maybe that's why He's so gentle with us.  He knows how it feels to have the world be so demanding, so difficult.  After all, who would know better than Him.  I think about the crowds who followed Him.  I wonder if He ever wanted just a few moments to Himself.

I finish getting caught up on the events of the week.  My Dad realizes he lost his cellphone for the hundredth time.  My daughter leaves to help him find it.  I hear my daughter chastise him.  "I would call you, but I know you probably left it on vibrate so you can't hear it."

"I wasn't wearing a jacket," my Dad replied.

I laughed.  Poor Dad doesn't hear well anymore.  My daughter speaks louder.  "I said you left it on vibrate, not in your jacket."

"I know," he answers her.  "I wasn't wearing a jacket."

My daughter gives up and begins looking for the phone.  I smile as I watch the two of them, and I know someday when they're not here, I'll miss them terribly.  But, that day isn't here quite yet. 

No, today I get to rest in the arms of my Lord and enjoy my family.  

What a fantastic Saturday.

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