Sunday, October 23, 2016


October 23, 2016 One of the most famous lines in cinematic history comes from the very end of the movie as Dorothy exclaims, "There's no place like home!" I'm in my own bed next to my wife, while Izzi snoozes on the floor at the foot of our bed. Her mom and dad have taken big sister Alex back to college, and Izzi doesn't sleep well when it's just her and her sisters. But even with this unexpected surprise ("What other kind is there?" I ask.), Dorothy's remark is so very true. But not for everyone. At the prison, we talked with men who have no home, no family, no one to receive them when they get out. And in the meantime, they sleep in a dorm with a bunkmate in a prison. There's no way it can be mistaken for home. It's where they are, but it will never be home. Their faces are burned into my brain, their stories break my heart. They've done bad things, by their own admission, and are where they are because of what they did. The people they hurt either directly or indirectly are just as real as these men, and the scars of the evil done to them will not soon fade. Sin is enticing, but it exacts a horrible price in the end. And while I am home where I belong, these men, some barely out of their teenage years, others older than I, wait, and long for a home, a place where love reigns in peace and joy. Most of the men we sat with this weekend have come or are coming to grips with their sins, and are reveling in the grace of Christ. Their songs of praise are genuine as they celebrate finally being free from the chains of hatred and addiction. The bars that hold them are still there, but the chains that held their hearts have been broken, and while still incarcerated, they are freer men than many on the outside, for they have found a home in Christ, with a family of brothers who love and accept them in spite of what they've done. Home for them is at the foot of the Cross where they rest tonight. For myself, I await a heavenly home even as I am settled into my earthly home. They are already settled into their heavenly home while they await an earthly dwelling. When put that way, I'm not so sure I have the better deal.

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