Yearning for a Place

When grown children move away, they leave behind so much. That mainly involves memories, but almost always there are physical remnants - old toys, trophies, school projects, collections of assorted rocks and knickknacks. Yet it's not these "belongings" that make our home, but rather the feeling of our belonging there. I was reminded of this over a holiday season when our children returned home for the usual festivities. My wife presented them with boxes of "stuff" that they needed to take ownership of or discard. Even if everything ended up in the trash, there was still a place to come home to. That's not always a physical location. In our many moves from city to city, finding a church has been important in re-establishing our roots. And in the last decade, my elderly mother has had to downsize to a smaller place, yet it still feels like coming "home" when I visit her in my hometown. Not everyone is so fortunate to have such a place - it's something both the homeless or the immigrant often lack or are barred from. Surely we can find ways to be generous to those not so fortunate. Jesus describes how he had no place to rest. Yet he also describes how he wished to "make a home" in us, which I take to mean radiating the same love and acceptance that he did - buildings not required. As it is said, "home is where the heart is", and everyone deserves a home.