“I go to prepare a place for you…” – John 14:2 (NRSV)
Whenever I need to go to a happy place, my mind wanders back decades to one evening on the farm.
It’s late spring, just after sunset. I’m in the johnboat on the small lake down the hill from our house. Deep crimson and purple darken the sky, preparing for night; they’re reflected in the still surface of the water.
The air is cool and carries the aroma of spring flowers. A chorus of the creatures of the night—frogs and insects—try to find harmony. A whippoorwill skims over the lake for her meal.
For me, this scene is about as close to heaven on earth as I can imagine. Even the sensation of sitting in the boat conveys the other-worldly sense of floating above the earth.
As night falls and the evening symphony grows louder, I look up the hill and see the outline of our house. A light glows softly through the kitchen window. Inside are Mom and Dad. They’re waiting dinner for me. We’ll enjoy it together before watching a little TV then saying goodnight.
Somehow this scene would not be complete if I didn’t look up the hill and see that light. The glow says that inside I’ll find not just a place but a home, where people love, care, and sacrifice for me. It’s where all is right with the world, in that small time and place.
It’s a special memory linking to the past, but also projecting into the future.
I think of it when I hear Jesus tell his disciples that he is preparing a house for them on top of the hill. He’ll make sure the light is on: “…so that where I am, there you may be also.”