And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)
This morning I woke up with the sun pushing its way through my cloth blind in my motorhome and the fresh spring breezes playing around my rooftop vents. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I stumbled out into the kitchen to begin my morning routine. It takes me a little while to wake up, even if I'm up and moving, so it wasn't until about fifteen minutes later that I realized where we were parked.
Most times we are parked in a church parking lot, hot asphalt baking even in the mild spring sun. And our motorhome bakes right along with it, so the air conditioner hums to keep us sane even in the springtime.
Not long ago, we were parked in a church parking lot also shared by a host of children, a family of eleven, in fact. It is nice to have a place to park, but it seems these children must rarely get visitors, because if one of my kids cracked the door to the motorhome open even a bit, they were mobbed by a swarm of excited children with seemingly nothing to do but wait for their visitors to come out. Most of the time we don't mind, but for some reason it made the stay a difficult one.
Kind as many pastors and churches are, nothing ever feels like home. For us, home has become the inside of our motorhome, and it can get real cramped real fast.
But this morning I almost thought I felt at home. I looked out the window with amazement, remembering that we are parked at a beautiful Christian Camp. I stared, blinking, out the window. Fields, cows, chickens, a log cabin. A grove of trees, and a flowing creek. Gorgeous bright greenness meets clear blue sky. Later in the day, I stepped out to switch laundry (my dryer is in a bay under the motorhome), and I heard the lowing of cows and the tiny peeps of baby hens and geese. It's nature's paradise. God's paradise. A little bit of Heaven here on earth.
And He allowed me to have it as my own, if only for a few days.
"Explore all you want," the folks told me. "Let the kids run, play, and visit the animals. We know it's tough when you travel, but you guys just relax and enjoy yourself."
After school, the kids and I wandered to the creekside, then went to feed some of the hens, goats and horses. We walked past the fields of flowing wheat and the budding corn. A garden of some sort of sprouts was growing as well. Then as we went back toward the bus, two young boys came to show us a six-foot black snake they had killed. It's a boy's paradise, and an animal lover's dream. The girls instantly fell in love with the horses.
Lord, You've been so good to me, allowing me to have freedom to explore a wonderful place such as this. It is not really home, but I feel fairly certain that my mansion is really going to be a log cabin!