Going home

Published 10:36 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I’ve read that you can’t go home again. I’ve also read that you can and you should go home
again. Well, which is it? Can you or can’t you? Yes. You can and you can’t. I did and I didn’t.
I’d better explain. It’s been some time since I returned to my boyhood home. We had gone to a
family wedding, which was to be held not far from the old neighborhood. Since it was near to
where I’d lived as a boy, I decided to take the family on an excursion to the old neighborhood.
We drove down Paxton Street and made a left turn onto North Cameron Street. We would
shortly enter the old neighborhood nicknamed “Shypoke.” Why Shypoke I have no idea. That’s
just how it was known to locals.
We drove a couple of blocks to where the old home place had stood—I think. I say “had stood”
because it was no longer standing. Neither was anything else except for Sacred Heart and
Calvary Churches. The old neighborhood was gone, demolished, and not a vestige remained
except for the churches.
Undaunted, I drove on a couple more blocks to Cameron’s Lawn. It was a place to which we
boys biked in summer to swim or fish in the creek that meandered along the roadside. People
would wash their cars by the creek. Young folks were known to park and “spark” there also. I
drove between the two stone pillars that stood on either side of the entrance. Traveling a short
distance the road stopped abruptly. What was once a summer getaway was now a landfill!
So much for the trip down memory lane. So much for going home. Things had changed,
radically. I was bereft of the place of my boyhood. Only the two churches that stood in the old
neighborhood remained. All else was the same only as I remembered it as a boy.
There must be something to that. I mean the fact that those two churches alone remained while
everything else was gone. Those two churches reminded me that all things change with the
passing of time, except for God. God is unchanging. Theologians call that attribute of God
immutability. Change can be disconcerting, disorienting, discomforting, as it was for me on my
trip down memory lane. It’s nice to know that we have a changeless God for our changing times
to orient us and give us stability.
The Bible says, with God “…there is no variation or shadow cast by turning” (James 1:17). It
also says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). God is not
locked into the past, He is always contemporary with us. I like that. I like having a God who,
while changeless, is never out of date. So while I can go home and find it as it was only in my memory, I can go to God at any time and
find that He’s the same as He’s always been.

– Daryl Maxwell

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