Psalm One Ministries
Home Sweet Home
A lot of friends have recently moved or are moving far away. While I’m excited about their new opportunities, it’s been tough to watch them scatter. And it has been challenging for them to uproot and resettle. It has me thinking a lot about home.
I don’t have family in Ohio, so to a large extent, my friends are my family, my support system, my home. I don’t come home to a husband or children. Some nights, that’s really lonely and hard. Most nights, it’s wonderful, as I pop some popcorn, exercise my singular control over the remote, and settle in to rest and recharge in my cozy retreat. I live in landlocked Ohio, yet I am half fish, and I feel most at home at (or better yet: in) the ocean.
Over the years, so very many amazing people have opened their homes, making me feel welcome and part of the family. I cannot fully express what a tremendous gift this has been to me. I am blessed with countless friends and moms and dads and brothers and sisters and children. (And I don’t have to go through pregnancy, labor, midnight feedings, teen rebellion, or paying for college. I can spoil them and hand them back.)
“And He said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.’" (Luke 18:29-30)
Some of my dearest and closest friends live thousands of miles away. They speak in funny accents and use hilarious slang. They think I speak in a funny accent and use hilarious slang. We sort out time zones to collect one another in international airports. We catch up over the phone, through heartfelt emails, though Facebook, and on Skype. We finagle ways to meet up face-to-face in random cities and on far-flung islands.
I have been blessed to travel to places I never dreamed I’d see. I grew up in a family that traveled extensively throughout Indiana. I never thought I’d see anything more exotic or distant than South Bend.
Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but my heart is divided between so many places in America, Ireland, England, Australia, Scotland, New Zealand, and a few other spots on the planet.
I recently came across this quote about travel that exactly sums up my restless heart: “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” (Miriam Adeney) It’s hard, but definitely worth it.
I find myself singing the traditional song, “This World Is Not My Home”:
This world is not my home, I’m just passing through
“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
Scripture talks about houses, but the word that best captures the full meaning of home is abide. To remain, to dwell, and to fully unpack my boxes. And my true and secure home is only found fully in God.
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (John 15:4-11)
It is that abiding that allows me to be sheltered, to belong, and to feel at home anywhere I go.
.Abiding = Home. Whether I’m married, single, widowed, divorced, childless, or with a “quiver full”, abiding in Christ must be my home. Whether I live in a mansion or a rented room, abiding in Christ must be my home. That is my security, so that His joy may be in me, and that my joy may be made full. In the words of that great theologian Billy Joel, “Well, I'll never be a stranger and I'll never be alone. Wherever we're together that's my home.”
Out on the road and abiding at home,