It’s Called Home

16 09 2013

When we talk about home, we all have ideas and visions that are similar for the most part.  If we go to the dictionary the 1st three definitions pretty much line the way we all think.Image

home [ hōm ]   

residence: the place where a person, family, or household lives

family group: a family or any other group that lives together

birthplace: the place where somebody was born or raised or feels that he or she “belongs.”

I’ve written in the past of my childhood home in Fremont, Ohio, a house that used to be made up of three apartments that my family converted into a one dwelling unit for us to live.  Cathy, my Lady, on the other hand lived in a small home on the outskirts of town; two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bath and basement.  Small in size but enough room to accommodate the Lenhart family of three.  This was the house that Cathy’s parents brought her home to after adopting her from an orphanage in a nearby community, the one and only place she knew as home in her growing up days.  In my teen years I lived several different places after moving from the original house, mom moved into a small trailer after I left for Indiana.  When we returned to Fremont for visits it lined out like this; go see mom on my side of the family, and go “home” on Cathy’s side.  I would be the one to go out and visit on those trips.  For Cathy, she was content just to sit at her parent’s house, just to enjoy being home.  As the years went on and children came along, it started to get crowded in the little house on Siler St. Fremont.  But that didn’t matter or was even looked at with concern.  We made beds anywhere we could and ate off of TV trays, never once was there a complaint about anything.  The kids learned early on when we made this trip it meant mom was home, and that meant joy and happiness for all.

The 90s brought sadness to the family, especially Cathy; her dad passed away from cancer in 90, and then her mom followed four years later stricken by the same disease.  As would be in any family this tragedy brought great sadness to all of us, especially to my Lady that would linger for time to come; little did we realize that the hardest day was yet to come.  The time came when we had to clean out the house and get it ready for sale. Since we lived so far away it wasn’t feasible to even consider keeping this wonderful memory maker.  For being a small house, Cathy’s parents had learned how to use every available space in the place. We worked day and night packing a large truck we drove back to Indiana.  The rest, (and there was a Whole Lot More!), we sold at a open door, walk in and make us an offer garage sale.  Then there were many things we gave to friends, family and organizations that helped the needy.  The house was finally empty, swept out, carpets shampooed and everything deemed trash removed from the property. The realtor came, an asking price was agreed on and the for sale sign placed in the front yard.  The only thing left was wait to see who might be interested.  We knew it wasn’t going to be easy selling the place, the smallness of the house would work as a detriment. We had to trust God would send the right person that saw this as the perfect place to live, just like Cathy and her parents did; that person would arrive two months later.

The atmosphere was light but little somber the day we met at the bank to finalize the sale. Present was Cathy, myself, the realtor, the buyer, a 3rd party witness for document signing and the banker.  The whole transaction was done in short, order but when the papers were signed tears flowed.  A great and important period of Cathy’s life had now come to an end.  Even though it was the right thing to do, it was also one of the hardest things she would do in her life; there would be no going “home” in Fremont ever again.  If the story ended there it would a pretty sad one, but there were more tears than just Cathy’s, happy tears as a matter of fact.  As I stated one of the things we prayed was God would bring the right person or persons to buy the house and that it would be as special a place for them as it had for my Lady, for this dear soul sitting across the table from us that’s exactly what it was. Her situation was one where she was living with someone else and for whatever reason it was time for her to move on, to get out on her own from what I perceived to be her 1st time ever.  As Cathy had wept across from her, she now cried for another reason; she now had that place to call hers, she would be soon going “Home!”

The exchange of the ownership was not only made with a signature on legal papers, it was made with a hug and a smile through soggy eyes.

Since 1983 a little house in a small community of Indiana has been the “home” of the Miller Clan.  During those 30 years, the house has gone through some changes, a lot of wear and tear and a place that our children have built their memories of what home is. Matter of fact there have been many that have a connection, an affection for the small abode on Vandeveer St.  It’s not a mansion, it would never make the cover of some prestigious magazine that features incredible houses of the world.  Just like Cathy’s home in Ohio, it’s a simple structure made for the purpose of providing adequate shelter from the elements.  But time, energy, love and people took those structures, those houses and made them into the greatest home that anyone could be blessed with. 

Billy Graham once said “Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love.”  In the case of the Lenhart and Miller homes, that exactly was the secret of what made them what they were.  A place where many activities occurred, many good and others not so, but still the essence of what was there remained intact, “home” the place you knew you were loved and welcomed no matter what.  People, yes, but also hearts dedicated to following a type of love that God offers to all of His family and is the catalyst and glue that made these houses home.

As we continue our journey “Traveling on the Rock Road,” we realize they’ll be a day when our kids will have the responsibility of clearing out the little house on Vandeveer St. that they’ve known as “home.” (Just for fun I may hide all the guitars ahead of time just to be ornery!)  When that comes I’m sure they’ll have memories, they’ll have a little sadness just like their mother did, because they won’t be taking care of the house, they’ll be the preparing the place they called “home” for someone new to call “Home.”

As for my Lady and I, well we’ll have gone, as our parents before us, to our new “Home,” our eternal “HOME!”  It’s ready for us to move into as I write, it’s been promised to me because I’m seen as family by the One who loves me most, who waits with loving anticipation for us to come “Home.” And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  John 14:3

For some, this is no more than a story.  For you who hold this belief, I pray you’ll take a closer look, you may discover it’s a whole lot more.  For us and many many more, it’s not a tale, it’s a house built with the love of a Father, a Savior, “It’s Called Home.”


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