This and That: You’re Home, My Child.

I just returned from the picture show after watching Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Agatha Christie’s classic tale “Murder on the Orient Express.”  While watching the movie, I could not help but think of a time in the not-too-distant future–when my dear mother no longer needs me–when I, too, may take a long train ride in the depths of winter.

I can see myself sitting alone in the dining car, looking out at the dying day, resplendently dressed in fading, lavender-blue sunlight. Perhaps those around me will wonder who the little, silent old man is, somewhat out of place in a tattered tux and velvet tuxedo slippers.

As I finish dinner and stroll to the observation car, will they wonder who I am? What were my dreams? Who I loved? Will they ponder if the love was unrequited? Or will they laugh at my old-fashioned manners and polite voice and mannerisms?  But as I sit in the embryonic warmth of the gently rocking train car, I will smile bittersweetly and remember.

I’ll remember my dear parents and their love for their only child, a precocious child unlike the other children who surrounded him, a strange child who grew up to disappoint in so many ways. I’m sure of this.

I’ll sit in silence and wipe away salty tears, thinking about the times I tried and failed to accomplish everything I wanted to do. I will think of all the people who touched my life and whose lives I was unable to touch. I will ponder my failures, which far, far outweigh my successes. And as darkness infuses the room with its peaceful solitude, I will contemplate my remaining years upon this mortal coil.

Will I spend them in laughter or tears? In peace or pain? In loneliness or surrounded by those who love and care for me? Will I remember all the days of summer sun and the days of winter’s sorrow? Will I ever hear someone say, “Come home with me. Live with me. Dance with me. Smile that silly smile for me and let me hold you in my arms so sweet. Please come home with me and never stray…”

     But if I never hear those words on this side of Jordan, one day soon, I hope I will indeed hear the words, “Come home with me.” There standing at Heaven’s door will be dear friends and loved ones. There will be eternal joy and happiness. Sadness will vanish. Failures will no longer haunt me. Tears will dry. And that love that I’ve looked for all my life will, at last, be found in the loving arms of my dear Savior. He’ll say, “Remember no longer, Andy.  Hurt no more. You are Home, my child…Home”

(Originally published May 10, 2018.)