Growing up in West Texas meant cotton fields and burnt grass and thunderstorms and sunsets that reached from one end of the horizon to the other. It meant dried up tank beds and pump jacks and incessant wind. It meant tractors and cows, boots and skirts, and slow-talking men in donut shops who still went out of their way to open the door for a lady. It meant mesquites for trees, cactus for flowers, and rain showers being the cause for celebrations featuring children in swimsuits running wildly through brown yards and neighbors gathering on porches giving thanks. It meant unlocked doors, Friday night football games, and Sunday afternoon naps after church. It meant catching horned toads and going barefoot and staying out until it got dark. It meant sweet tea and chicken-fried steak, pecan pie and rib-eyes, and gourmet being something that had a sprig of parsley on the side. It meant people whose hearts were as wide open as the sky.
The older I get, the more I realize this land is in my blood. When I come home after being away, I breathe easier and my smile comes faster. Home, with all its faults, is right here where my heart leaps.
And then I find myself wondering, what will this land be like when He comes and makes all things new? How will it reflect His beauty then? What part of Him will be newly birthed in the fields, the trees, the wind? Will I recognize my homeland and all my old lanes of memory, or will I need a welcome tour?
And I find a prayer on my lips that when the time comes, He will take my hand and show me how it was meant to be, the old passed away and the new wine running free.