Easter was always my favorite holiday next to Christmas when I was growing up. Besides the excitement of getting a new dress and new shoes for church, it was because we got to see our cousins from Wichita after a long winter apart.
Our cousins came home to Vinita for Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Rodeo Week, and Labor Day, but they stayed in Wichita the rest of the year to celebrate the holidays there. Their daddy and my mama were brother and sister who had grown up out north of Vinita on a little farm and still called Vinita home. Since there wasn’t a house on the old farm, everyone always gathered at our little house to visit.
If they didn’t have any car trouble or flats they usually pulled into Vinita by 9 o’clock Friday night for Easter but I started watching for them as soon as supper was over. Every few minutes I’d go look out the front door expecting them to drive in. Any time a car drove by, I just knew it was them, so I’d race out the door.
When the lights of the car shined on the front door, I ran out the front door, slamming the screen door behind me. I always wanted to be the first one there when the car pulled into the driveway. Before the car had even come to a complete stop, I already had the car door open, and I was inside, on their laps, hugging and kissing.
That’s how I imagine it will be when we are ready to go to heaven. Our loved ones who have gone there ahead of us will be waiting for us to arrive. Some of them will be so excited they might even show up early to escort us across the great divide. You know, it is common for people who are getting ready to go to heaven to see a loved one coming to escort them home.
Jesus told us, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2-3.
This isn’t home. Heaven is home.