My Home Townby Tricia Goyer
There's a little town in Northern California, under the shadow of Mt. Shasta, that still holds a piece of my heart. It's an old mill town, with a little more than 3,000 people. And although Weed may not seem special to the casual observer, it's precious to me—that's the place where my childhood memories were made.
My mind can transport me to those familiar streets, the houses that line them, the faces of people who lived in them and most likely still live in them today. I can clearly see the elementary school and the bear cub mural I helped to create in the cafeteria. I can remember the large gymnasium at the high school where I timidly tried-out for cheerleader.
I remember the old, vacant houses that line North Davis street and the wild stories we used to create about them. Most of all, I think about the brown and white, double-wide trailer where my grandparents lived—the place of my fondest remembrances. But that is not my home town.
Today, I live in a community 1,000 miles away, in Montana. Now I am in the shadow of the Rockies. It's a bigger mill town with quite a few more than 3,000 people. This town is more popular because it's close to Glacier National Park. We've built our own home here, and we think it's a beautiful place to live.
I drive the streets and know exactly where I want to go. Yet, it seems I'm always discovering new places, seeing different houses, and meeting nice people. My husband has a good job, and we've been blessed with a wonderful church. We've also developed close friendships. But this is not my home town either.
My hometown is a place I have never seen—well at least not yet. One hymn writer describes the trip to my hometown this way:
Then I bid farewell to the way of the world,
To walk in it nevermore;
For my Lord says 'Come,' and I seek my home,
Where He waits at the open door . . .
It is sweet to know, as I onward go,
The way of the cross leads home.
My true hometown is under the shadow of the cross, behind the pearly gates, and at the feet of Jesus. It is the home I desire, the place of my Lord, my residence for ever more.
On earth I may move, things will change and my childhood memories may dim. But one thing that will stay the same is my hope, Jesus' sacrifice, and God's provision.
This is the way that will lead me home.