It's a word we all know and use from time to time. And it means so many things to just as many people.
When the folks from the Midwest moved westward --even if just as far west as St. Louis or Minneapolis or Denver -- they called the places they came from "Back Home." Some would say they were from "Back Home in Indiana." Others would mention they hailed from "Back Home in Pennsylvania." For them, their roots were firmly planted "Back Home."
When the hill people from the Ozark, Boston and Washita Mountains of northern and central Arkansas moved to places like Moline and Green Rock, Illinois, to work in the tractor factories, or to Kansas City to work in the steel and auto industry, or to St. Louis to build airplanes, they referred to the Arkansas hills as "Down Home."
"When's the last time you heard from down home?"
"When's the last time you were down home?"
"Guess you'll be heading down home for Thanksgiving."
"Did y'all make it down home for Christmas?"
And so on.
We've been so many places and lived in so many different locales that it's hard to place just where "home" might be for us. We're not even sure whether it's "down home" or "back home." It could be "out home" for all we know.
I guess Missouri would be our home state of origin. Laura and I are both from here -- her from Malta Bend and me from Kansas City. And the two daughters who've moved to other states probably think of Missouri as "back home." When we're visiting friends and loved ones in Arkansas we sometimes refer to our current place of residence as "back up home."
"Guess we'd better get back up home."
Truth is, the Bible says that believers are just visiting here -- no matter where we make our earthly home. I guess that's why, from time to time, we might feel a little bit homesick. And homesick for a home we've never seen, mind you. The promise is this: Jesus went to prepare a place for us, and he's been working on it for over two thousand years.
Thinks of that! The Master Carpenter of the universe taking his time to build each of us a home in that place we call Heaven.
I can't wait.