If you haven't seen the Home Alone series of movies you have missed some great laughter. Of course, the parents leave one of their sons behind by accident when they go on vacation, and it is up to him to make the best of it while dealing with some intruders. Take a look, you'll love it.
The last 45 days I have done a reverse of that movie, I have left most of my Church family home alone while I tried to cope with my son's death and with helping the family to heal and continuing to work in Alabama. As I have thought about not seeing so many folks I love and hold dear, it was as if I unintentionally created a vacuum around us until the time was right for me to come home.
This Sunday will be the first time since Paul's passing to see my church family, and though I am going home physically to be with them, I have never felt alone because their calls, emails, letters and Facebook comments have been overwhelming. You don't always have to be with someone you love to feel their constant presence and love in your heart.
So too, do we often struggle that Jesus is not physically with us, but we have His Holy Spirit. Unseen but felt, it remains a constant reminder that we are loved and cared for though we are not face to face with the Lord. Sometimes we isolate or do not feel that presence,or keep waiting for an answer to prayer, but we take heart in knowing he is always there, he says so in so many biblical verses.
Reading about Abraham and Sarah for the past 6 months, I have a feel for leaving home, being isolated from your original family, trying but not so successfully to wait for an answer from God, and how losing loved ones can impact your outlook on life. We can honestly feel at home, at peace with the Lord, but feel alone.
The key is to realize that though we may have moments of down time, moments of loneliness or fatigue which leads us to try to fix that feeling (a la rushing the promise of a son for Abraham and Sarah), we must find a way to understand we are never, ever alone though we may not be directly spoken to.
At every moment God is with us, and in this earthly life, his people are with us, no matter where we are, what we are going through or how hurting we are.
I have learned this more lately than I ever understood before. Now it is time to go home and feel that love in person!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.