Nearing Home


Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.…
John 14:1-4


night-steamerIt was stormy from shore to shore, without a single fair day…

But the place to which we were going was my home; there was my family; there was my church; there were my friends, who were as dear to me as my own life. And I lay perfectly happy in the midst of sickness and nausea. All that the boat could do to me could not keep down the exultation and joy which rose up in me. For every single hour was carrying me nearer and nearer to the spot where was all that I loved in the world.

It was deep, dark midnight when we ran into Halifax. I could see nothing. Yet the moment we came into still water I rose from my berth and got up on deck. And as I sat near the smoke stack while they were unloading the cargo, upon the wharf I saw the shadow of a person, apparently, going backward and forward near me. At last the thought occurred to me, “Am I watched?” Just then the person addressed me, saying, “Is this Mr. Beecher?” “It is,” I replied. “I have a telegram for you from your wife.”

I had not realized that I had struck the continent where my family were. There, in the middle of the night, and in darkness, the intelligence that I had a telegram from home — I cannot tell you what a thrill it sent through me!

We are all sailing home; and by and by…

…when we are not thinking of it, some shadowy thing (men call it death), will pass by at our midnight, and will call us by name, and will say, “I have a message for you from home; God waits for you.”

Are they worthy of anything but pity who are not able to bear the hardships of the voyage? It will not be long before you, and I, and every one of us will hear the messenger sent to bring us back to heaven. It is pleasant to me to think that we are wanted there. I am thankful to think that God loves in such a way that He yearns for me — yes, a great deal more than I do for Him. 

–Beecher