Thursday, July 28, 2011

Home Away From Home

I went to get my nails done today, a fact that irritates my husband just as much as it delights my publicist who insists, "If you're going to sign books, your hands need to look as professional as the rest of you."

I went to the same place I always go, a shop just up the street from my house, owned, like most nail salons it seems, by a Vietnamese couple. Usually the wife does my nails but today her husband Tran had the honor.

After the requisite discussion about the relentless heat, he asked about my children, so after answering him, I returned the favor and asked about his. They have two, a son and daughter, both students at OU. I asked if they had been born in this country, and he said, "No Vietnam. But we left when the youngest was two." That was eighteen years ago.

I asked if they had been back since, and he said told me they'd only been back once because it is so expensive. I asked if he missed it and he replied with a most emphatic, emotional, "Oh yes! It's home."

It hit me hard. He has been in this country eighteen years. His children have no memories of their birth country, yet he has chosen to make a home away from his true home.

Immediately the verse in Hebrews 11:9-10 came to mind where it speaks of Abraham and says, "By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents...for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God."

And like Tran, we Christians also are making a home on earth away from our true home which is heaven. We live here. We build our lives here. But our true home, and the one we long for even more than Tran longs for Vietnam, is with our Father and Brother.

May our hearts yearn for that home, even as we go about living the gift that life is, and using that life to do things that will glorify God and last for eternity.

See you at the reunion.