The Case for Retiring “Home Where I Belong”

“They say Heaven’s pretty / Well, living here is, too.”

Living here is not.

I saw a man in his 50s driving an old white car on Thanksgiving weekend—by himself. His license plate bore the familiar Komen logo and the words “Driving for a Cure.”

I saw some of the sweetest little children I have ever known get scarred for life when their parents chose to go separate ways.

I saw a family welcome a little baby girl into the world, only to watch her unexpectedly stop breathing a few hours later. There was nothing the doctors could do.

You have undoubtedly seen as many hearts break as I have—perhaps more.

The song was written by Pat Terry at the peak of the youthful idealism of the Jesus Movement. After B.J. Thomas picked it up and popularized it, any number of artists across Christian genres have cut it. But the lyric’s idealism is ill-considered, and frankly, too inaccurate to overlook.

Though there are occasional glimpses back to the Edenic beauties, and sometimes even foretastes of the glory to come, this earth is far too fallen to say that living here is pretty or beautiful. It is time for “Home Where I Belong” to be retired.

Note: I’m happy to engage in debates over the views I express in most posts. This is an exception, so comments are closed.

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