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HOME COMING

That reminds me of the old story about an elderly missionary returning to the United States to retire. He & his wife had spent over 40 years serving in Africa. But now he was alone. His wife & two children had long since found their final resting place in the soil of Africa. As he got off the plane he saw a great crowd of people waiting at the gate. Some were holding signs, others were waving banners, & he could even hear sounds of music above the shouting voices. For a few seconds he thought, "Can it be? After more than 40 years of service, all of these people have actually come out to welcome me home?"

But no, that was not the case. On his plane was a politician returning from a visit to Africa. During his visit he had been catered to & waited upon & all his needs had been met. And now he was being welcomed back with all the ceremony his nation could provide. As he waited & waited at the airport, the contrast was almost more than the old missionary could bear. For a moment he began feeling sorry for himself, & he started to pray. "Father in Heaven, why? I’ve served You faithfully & for so long, & yet, look. I don’t expect much. But is it wrong to desire that there be some kind of a welcome home?" Then, almost as if God had spoken out loud, the old missionary heard Him say, "But my son, you’re not home yet."

Melvin Newland


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