I get that a lot; I always have.
Why you should care is a much more complicated question than who I am. I am a former journalist who found life outside of who, what, when, where and why. Especially the why.
What I found was a home, away from home, in the United Methodist Church. That home, away from home, has become Eunice, as of this week, as I have become the pastor at FUMC Eunice or Eunice FUMC or whatever the acronym, title, bunch of letters might be.
My wife, Mary, and I have come to this new home, this home away from home, much as did the Israelites who were led into captivity into Babylon. Not that we’ve been captured and enslaved, but that we aren’t home here. What I mean is nothing about the wonderful graciousness of Eunice that will make it so, no more than did the wonderful graciousness of Covington or Terrytown or Pearl, Miss., or any of many hamlets, towns and truck stop-sized communities in Mississippi, or in Washington, D.C., at USA Today or Reno, Nev., during a mistake of a 10-month journey West of the Mississippi or any of the previous stops have been.
Someone once said that each stop along the way is an arrival. If so then this is our next arrival, our next station, our next moment of joy.
The promises of God are much like these He told to the Israelites in Isaiah. God said, “They will come home and sing songs of joy on the heights of Jerusalem. They will be radiant because of the Lord’s good gifts — the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone.”
Oh, isn’t that a fine, fine description of home?
Songs of joy.
That’s home. That’s the wonderfulness of God’s promises. He promises that we will one day be home…with Him. That being true, and I believe it to be so, then all the rest of this is temporary. However long I live, however long I stay in Eunice, however long I write these scribbles and dots and tittles (look it up) is so very, very temporary.
Eunice and the others are wonderful. But ultimately they’re all temporary, and one day they will be replaced with Home as opposed to the homes we all build and live in.
It’s great to move into this area, and we look forward to meeting many of you.
But out of the corner of a older-than-dirt brown eye, in a moment of sheer and inexplicable lucidity, just a shadow of Home exists. Just an echo. Just a fragrance. A bit. A parcel. A moment.
I long so desperately at times to be with saints who have gone before, to be with the Jesus of my Bible who walks dusty trails in Palestine stirring up people, places and things still. I know him to be there, in that shadow, talking in that brief echo of home, with a smell of new rain and a dusting of joy and grace. A bit. A parcel. A moment.
Home, at last.
Till then, I write. That’s why.