The heat of summer beats on her back 

As she walks from place to place,

Wondering where she will sleep 

In the car or maybe if she’s lucky, motel room 333.

The aroma of Africa knocks one over at the apartment door,

As teenage girls with a surplus of smiles and stories spill through the room. 

All journeys unique,

Yet with the blood of Jesus they bleed.

The shards of screaming pierce deep.

As words and hands are flung ‘round the neighborhood night.

Without worry to the wreckage above, 

Let alone within, 

The walls and hearts never to stand again.

Retracing the day’s adventures in search of the beloved stuffed sheep and binky,

Toddlers delay the snuggles, story and song time as parents hunt desperately.

Though with the finding, their bodies ease with each stroke of their cheeks, 

Such beauty in their innocence and

Oh the memories to be made after peaceful sleep.

Scrounging through the shelter storage for a jar of peanut butter and crackers

Women of all ages and places pile ‘round the table. 

With tissues in hand, vulnerability is taken to a new level.

Sharing of their escapes and attempts to break free with far more than mace.

The wrestling of the wheelchair trying to roll to the window… 

A world so familiar yet unknown, as she’s now lost in the Nursing Home

Diapers like when she was a child and piles of pictures, 

Yet of people and memories she can no longer remember.

Waking before the break of day, 

Sleepy eyed children bundle into the van to go to the sitters, 

As mom and dad divert to their workplaces. 

With hours and energy waning, only to pick up late, go to bed and start again on replay… 

Though they long for even just an hour to throw a baseball or paint a picture, 

To build memories rather than being merely ships passing through.

Still there are piles after piles of bills past due.

The foster worker in a white coat clings to her clipboard,

Still no words to do justice for the trauma this poor little guy has been through 

Yet as they step out of the car and she walks with his hand in hers to a white picket fence 

The door opens revealing a mom, dad and siblings screaming, “Welcome to our family”. 

Not breaking his stare from the ground, the worker kisses him on the forehead. 

“Good luck buddy. This time it will be different.”

The white washed walls wear thin in the hospital as day one hundred four comes to a close,

Yet it’s the same old, same old… 

The nurses who try to make him smile, The tasteless food, 

The phone conversations with Mama four times a day, 

Even still the doc brings another bag to hang, 

Hoping maybe tomorrow will be the day they see a change.

Although, he wonders when will all this pain go away?

Different meanings to all people and places as I’ve traveled about this past year…

Yet no matter through what lens you look, 

These four letters of “HOME”, or the lack thereof, can change everything.

Nonetheless, I am reminded no matter what it looks like here on this Earth, 

In all its glory or in shambles,

It is just temporary.

The neighborhood is temporary.

The brick walls are temporary.

The high paying jobs or the scraping of ends in the lowest of lowest are temporary.

The brokenness and pain are temporary.

The doctors and hospitals are temporary..

Even our families and friends in a sense are temporary

Though we have hope.

For we can looking forward to eternity.

Far greater than we can even think or imagine.

We will leap into our Father’s arms.

And no longer have to wonder where we belong.

For Heaven is our HOME

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