Don't They Want to Come Home?
It is evening--if heaven has an evening. Two figures walk silently together through the golden streets. The taller one is the Master. The other is the angel Gabriel. On they walk through beauty beyond description. But the beauty tonight seems marred by the strange silence of the two. They have come into that vast part of the city which is uninhabited. Just why it should remain so is hard to understand. For the homes that line its winding streets are lovely beyond words. The terraces, the lawns of living green, the rose gardens rich with bloom, would bring tears of joy to any child of God who could see it.
At last Gabriel breaks the silence.
"Master," he says, "all that has come from your hand is good. And these homes are no exception. They are beautiful--as only you could make them."
Again there is silence. And again Gabriel speaks.
"Master, when do you plan to bring them home?"
"Not yet," He replies. And then softly, with a look of yearning sadness, "Not yet."
"Didn't you plan to go for them long before this?"
"Yes." His sadness seems to deepen.
There is another silence, and then--
"Master, you know there is a housing shortage down there. Many have no homes. There is a continual clamor to find them. And those that do have them seem to be satisfied with earth. But, Master, the loveliest homes down there are only shacks compared to those that you have built."
"I know," the Savior says.
There is more silence, and this time it is the Master who breaks it.
"Gabriel, do you see those groups of people in all lands--the ones who are kneeling?"
"They are My people, Gabriel. They are faithful to Me. They keep my commandments. They love My words. They tell others I am coming back. And they pray, `Even so, come, Lord Jesus.'"
The Master hesitates. Then He continues, "But Gabriel, sometimes when My people feel that I am about to come for them, I detect a worried look on their faces, as if--"
The Master cannot say what is in His heart. But Gabriel knows, and turns his face. He has no answer for his Lord.
A few moments pass and the angel turns again, his face expressing the love and admiration that are in his heart.
"Jesus," he says.
And the Savior's face seems to light up as Gabriel addresses Him. He loves to be called by that name which in a special way expresses His mission to a fallen world. "And thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins."
Gabriel pauses an instant, as he looks at the nailprints in the Savior's hands. Then, clasping both wounded hands in his own, he continues:
"Jesus, you gave so much for them." He says no more, for even an angel cannot find words adequate to describe such infinite love.
The tears that a moment ago were stealing down the Master's cheek, now flow unchecked. His disappointment is so great that its intensity cannot be described. At last, motioning toward the empty mansions about Him, He finds words:
"Gabriel, I'm so anxious for homecoming! I want them to be with Me, here, where I am. Just imagine the times we're going to have! It's hard to wait, Gabriel. It's tough being so far away from My friends. I miss being able to go on walks with them. I miss being able to look into their eyes."
"Gabriel, don't they want to come home?"
Lesson 8 - Conclusion