For the last year and a half our family has called Chicago home. Well, not really Chicago. Actually, we have called Orland Park and the south suburbs home.
However, it’s not fully home. Our oldest daughter, Josie, has called Auburn Alabama home for the past two years. Our second oldest, Libby, fell in love with St. Louis (and sadly, the Cardinals) while I was in seminary, and has returned to call that place home.
A part of me will always consider Iowa City home. It’s where I was born, where I went to college, and where I somehow ended up planning a church after seminary. And of course, there were those indie coffee shops.
But now my life and (most of) my family are here. We are being knit together to new friends and are part of a wonderful church seeking to experience and extend the transforming presence of Christ. So, this is now my home. But it doesn’t always feel that way.
To be honest, it’s been tough calling a place home when my only options for coffee have been Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Regardless of how good the coffee may be, they are a far cry from the indie coffee shops of my former home.
Then, last week, Officer Stambaugh, who knows his coffee, recommended that I try a new coffee place in Tinley Park called, Creative Cakes. Yes, they make cakes. They make wonderful, beautiful, wedding and party cakes. They have been in Tinley Park for over 25 years. They are very successful. So, during a recent expansion they added a café with a wonderful, beautiful coffee bar.
Hello indie coffee shop in the south suburbs! A Grande Americano, please! Ah, home.
And so, slowly, Chicago and the south suburbs are coming to feel more like home. But as much as I love indie coffee shops, and the helpful role Creative Cakes is playing in helping the south suburbs feel like home, this whole experience has served to remind me of the true nature of home. Sometimes, the dark roasted comforts of this world make me forget important truths.
For those of us who call Christ, “King”, and God, “Our Father”, this world should never feel fully like home. We are aliens in world awaiting the restoration of all things. Home is where the dwelling place of God is with man. Home is where God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Ultimately, the best joys and beauty of this world (whatever they may be) are just glimpses into the wonderful and unimaginable reality of the home that, only through the gospel of grace, is offered and promised to us.
While I wait for home, I think I’ll have another Americano.