The Lure of Presence

The best part of a trip is most often the trip back home. It’s wonderful having a place where you are expected and loved.


Over my years of ministry I have done a lot of traveling. My first ministry-related plane trip was in 1967 and in my more than 1 million miles of flying I have seen a lot from 30,000 feet. My eyes have gazed at sights that a camera couldn’t convey.

But I speak for many who have traveled extensively for ministry or pleasure and we share a common sentiment… the best part of any trip is the last leg going home.

There’s just something incredibly joyous about returning from anywhere and knowing that when you get home, there is someone who loves you and has counted the hours until you were together again.

Several decades ago I had finished teaching a Change the World School of Prayer in southern Oregon. I taught three hours Friday night and seven hours on Saturday. The happy exhaustion called for one more night in the hotel before the ten-hour drive back to Coeur d’ Alene.

But sometime in the afternoon session my mind wandered and I found myself wanting to get home to Joanie before Sunday afternoon. It would mean canceling the hotel room, getting out of town by 6 and driving all night across several mountain passes, but my heart made that decision easily. There was somebody who wished for me to be with her as soon as possible.

Many years later while traveling weekly across country for Promise Keepers my flight arrived back home in Denver in mid-afternoon. As I drove the familiar roads back to our home and pulled into the driveway and on into the garage, I had my heart jump. That’s the only way I can explain the leap in my chest as I sat in the car, looked at the door into the house and thought “She’s just on the other side of that door!”

Now I’m older (and no, I have not stopped feeling that way about Joanie!) but we’re seldom separated anymore and life is lived together, for which we both thank God. But something spiritually has been happening in my life for some time now. My early morning time alone with God has moved from discipline to desire. Many times in the darkness of early morning my eyes will open and I lay there pondering if I want to get up.

And the feeling that comes over me is that Someone who really loves me and is loved back by me is waiting in the living room to spend some time with me.

And my heart jumps!

“My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” 

Psalm 27:8 NLT


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