“We would very much like it if you could possibly stay,” said the Rector, my blushing face spotlit by the glare of assembled eyes.
Over the last few months, those first kind remarks became several, a refrain, a chorus, a torrent, said in different situations and various ways – some surely mere pleasantry, and some more polite than others – the latter involving allusions to church furniture (not a compliment at the best of times and certainly not when the church building has been around since the Vikings terrorised the island!).
“But what makes you think I am going home?” I did not, at any point, say as I hurried on to another topic in embarrassment. London is as much “home” as Singapore. Because…what is home?
A fantasy of the orphan; a mirage in the eyes of the wanderer; a daydream of the alien.
What is home? The sure promise of a faithful God; a place to be rightly yearned for; the blissful rest still to come.
And so all we who live in faith are not yet home; we are homeward bound.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13-16)