I Have Gone Home
One summer back in the nineties I was walking along a well-known sea front in the south of England having a break from ministry and the hectic life surrounding it. It was a beautiful day as I leant myself on a railing to admire the sea, the blue sky and to feel the warm sun on my back...
I had been there for a while quietly contemplating how amazing God was in His creation and how perfect it all was and how it all worked together when a cry of "Andrew! Andrew. Is that you?" broke into the moment of solace. As I looked round there were 4 ladies looking at me and smiling. "It's so good to see you how are you?"
You know when you have no idea who someone is and you try your very best to act otherwise because you don't want them to know you have forgotten who they are? I quickly went into this mode - smiling, shaking hands and asking how they were... (but still with no idea... and no clue despite listening very carefully).
Then one asked how the conference centre was going and referred to another member of the team, so I knew that these ladies had attended a conference I had been speaking at - along with about 400 other people... so it kind of slotted into place.
I was quite pleased that they recognised me but more pleased they had remembered the topic of my teaching = 'Blessed Assurance'.
In John 14 Jesus teaches us that He will prepare a place for us in His heaven, this is the blessed assurance that we have as disciples of Jesus. Once we leave this earth, we have a place in heaven - and an eternal home.
When Lord Baden Powell (founder of the Boy Scout Movement) died in 1941 in Kenya the then Dean of Westminster asked his widow if she would like a special grave situated between David Livingstone and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.
His family knew that he would not want this recognition or ceremony. Instead, his wish was to be buried in a small graveyard in Kenya. Above his grave was a simple stone that bore his name, his date of birth and his date of death and a circle with a dot in the middle of it.
The circle with a dot in the middle may not have much significance to the casual onlooker, but every scout in the world would understand it. Why? Because it is their symbol for "I have gone home".
May we all have the certainty of the circle with the dot in the middle!
Much love to you all,