Heaven is not a home for me alone. It’s not just for people who look like me, live in my country and speak my language. Heaven will be home to all the redeemed of all the ages from every corner of the globe. The apostle John was privileged to view our heavenly home, and he “looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes…” (Rev. 7:9).
If you are like me, you have probably considered some aspects of this before. You may have wondered if you will see your loved ones and relatives in heaven. You’ve probably imagined getting to meet great Christians like Peter and Paul there. It will be their home too. But have you ever tried to picture all the people on earth right now, far flung all over this planet, whose culture, language, and social status are all entirely different from yours, who will also call heaven their home?
On trips to Africa in recent years, I have been privileged to sit with native brethren in Christ in huts, and block buildings, and under the shade of trees, and hear them sing hymns to my God and theirs. The Ndebele Christians of southern Zimbabwe speak a language that is both beautiful and mystifying to my ear. To hear them praise God in song from their hearts is touching even when one does not understand their language. But to have the words translated for you, and to realize that a beautiful song that they love to sing is about our mutual home in heaven, is extraordinarily moving.
Lapho Ezulwini is a song they sing over and over again. Translated into English, the words mean something like this:
There in heaven, it is my home.
There with the Lord, it is my home.
There will I rest and rejoice.
Now I remember, it is my home.
There is no stubbornness in my home.
This is a different world from my home.
We are in darkness here on earth.
They are in light, in my home.
The Savior is there in my home.
It is where I will see Him at my home.
He is its brightness. He cares about it.
Nothing frightening enters in my home.
I long to be there in my home.
I draw myself closer in my home.
Lord, quickly find me.
Let us meet in my home.
Even now, as their voices echo in my mind and resound in my heart, I am filled with a desire for heaven. O for a home with God!!
Listen to a snippet of Lapho Ezulwini as sung by a group of my brethren in Gwanda, Zimbabwe, in July of 2015.
– Steve Klein