The first pang hit on Tuesday night when I was suddenly surprised by Cowper on the 22-W. I can't say how grateful I was. It had been a long time. In Spanish there's this word -- anhelo. It can be translated as "longing" or "a vehement desire; anxiousness; eagerness." That's what this is.
Then, day by day, as new preparations came up for Dave and Marlys's retirement celebration, the homesickness came on again and again.
Most of the time, this is a homesickness that leads to tears. They aren't sad tears. They are the kind of tears where you fall on your face in gratefulness for something good because of what it promises about something Better.
May I give thanks for the good, long for the better, and live life as a citizen of that heavenly country until the day my Shepherd wipes away every tear.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?"
I said to him, "Sir, you know."
And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
"Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."