In a Word . . .

by Jenni Key

September 28, 2022


You know how it is when you hear a new word—an interesting, elegant, nuanced or unusual word—for the first time? It seems that suddenly everything you read and everyone you listen to is speaking or writing that word. And you don’t know how you got along without that word!

“Egregious” [outrageously bad] was that way for me. Besides, there truly is so much these days that is egregious. Years ago, it was “disingenuous” [untrue or hypocritical]. And yes, I might be guilty of using the phrase “egregiously disingenuous” just because I can and because it so often fits.

My dad was a great lover of words. And not finding enough words, he would sometimes make them up. “Repensate” was one. He used it as an adjective, adverb or verb. “Turfinfoils” was another. Because he was a NASA engineer, when he threw into the conversation something like “those confounded repensating turfinfoils!” people would just nod in sympathetic agreement.

But for all the enjoyment people like me derive from words prosaic or profound, lofty or archaic, poly-syllabic or obscure-but-spot-on, there are some words which have no synonym or modifier which improves them. For instance, home.

Did you do as I did when I typed that word, and just pause? Or sigh? Or breathe deeply? Or allow your mind to go . . . home? tells us there are 150 usages of some version of the word “home” in the Scriptures. People are sent home, return home, realize the world is not our home, and believe Jesus when He says He is preparing a home for us in heaven.

Our eternal Home. I’ve been thinking more about that lately . . . because haven’t we all attended too many funerals and memorial services in the past year or so? But the writer of Ecclesiastes suggests this (7:2): It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.

So I purpose to right-size my view of “home,” both earthly and eternal. To live in the duality of enjoying an earthly home which must be a sanctuary, a place of hospitality, a place of rest and comfort, while at the same time allowing the Holy Spirit to lift my eyes to the far horizon, to my final destination: Home with Jesus.

I was at a conference last week and the speaker told of the death of a friend the week prior. Surrounded by family, he was in and out of consciousness right up until the end when he sat up in bed and said, “Wow! Wow! Wow! Everything they said is true.” And then he made the transition into the presence of our Living God.

Home. Breathing in all that word evokes . . . and breathing out, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

Jenni recently retired from full time staff at Fullerton Free but continues to serve in the areas of prayer and missions and fills other available time being a Nanna.