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RELIGION: Back Home | Opinion

Now that Russia has withdrawn its troops from kyiv to concentrate its invasion in the east, the Ukrainians are returning home to the capital. Despite continued airstrikes on the city and warnings from the mayor not to return, thousands of people make the dangerous journey every day. According to a report by Hannah Allam in the Washington Post, one of the returnees said: “I can’t wait to take a shower, to see my room, to kiss my husband. I’m coming home.” Another said: “People say it’s still not the right time to be there, but this is our home. Our walls will heal us.

We all understand the emotions driving these displaced citizens to make the dangerous journey back to Kyiv. There is something about “home” that attracts us all: the familiar place where we grew up, that special tree we climbed as children, the sound of birds outside the window early in the morning, the rooms and the familiar furnishings, and, most importantly, the voices of those we love, the smell of cooking dinner, holding hands around the table and saying “thanks.”

But definitions of home have changed over the years. I still have those compelling memories of growing up in central Texas. But the places where we raised our children are just as significant: the places where they were born, where they learned to walk and ride a bike, where they went to school, where they played soccer, baseball and soccer. “Home” contains memories of Minnesota snow forts, snowmen and snow-capped hills that have melted and given way to lilacs and crabapple blossoms.

Today, “home” is in northern Colorado, the Frontal Range, with majestic snow-capped peaks in the distance. It is the place where we help our children raise our grandchildren, the place where our family gathers to celebrate holidays and special events.

When we speak of home and think of home, we cannot do so without remembering or anticipating the presence of those we love, those who have loved us most throughout our journey, wherever led us.

“Home” is also in the future. A place we haven’t been to yet. A “better” place, as they say. Billy Graham, the 20th century evangelist, lived to be 99. In his later years, he wrote, “One day our life’s journey will be complete. In a sense, we are all nearing home. As I get older, the old song takes on more meaning: “This world is not my home, I’m just a passerby.” If heaven isn’t my home, then Lord, what am I going to do? »

Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe in me too. In my Father’s house there are several rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you. I will prepare a location for you. And, if I prepare a place for you, I will come back and I will receive you near me, so that where I am, you will also be.

Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a religious perspective. His books are available at www.tinsleycenter.com. Email bill@tinsleycenter.com.