Home. What is your reaction to that word? I imagine there are as many different responses as people reading this blog.
What got me thinking about home was the study of the prodigal and a very poignant scene in a book I read a few months back.
The prodigal ran away from his home. He demanded his inheritance and left home to go live the way he wanted. Eventually the money ran out and he was feeding pigs. Realizing he would be treated better at his father’s house as a servant, he returns home. Hid dad welcomes him with open arms and won’t hear about him working as a servant. He is restored to his place as his dad’s son. The story is recorded in the gospel of Luke 15 if you are unfamiliar with it.
In the novel I read, the main character was forced from her home. Many years later, she is weeping and someone asks her why is she crying? Here is the quote from the novel Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas:
‘“Because I am lost,” she whispered into the earth. “And I do not know the way.”
It was what she had never been able to tell Nehemia – that for ten years, she had been unsure how to find the way home, because there was no home left.” (Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas, p.281)
That scene has stayed with me for months because I understand exactly what this character is expressing. When we can’t find home, we are lost. Have you ever felt that way?
After many moves and as I age, I’m learning home is not really a place. I’ve lived in many houses, not all have been a home.
We put a lot of emphasis on the physical home here in North America. We are told in countless ways that the places we live need to be up to date and nicely decorated. There’s a certain standard to live up to. I agree that living in a place you find nice, goes a long way to making it a home. But it’s not the main thing. I think we have it all wrong.
I believe home is whatever we give our hearts to. That saying, Home is Where Your Heart Is, is true. That’s why it doesn’t necessarily have to be a place. It can be a person, a job, a dream. We lose sight of the fact that these homes are all temporary.
We can get lost in them. We lose our way from our true home. God created us with a longing in our very beings to be in a relationship with Him. He is our true home. I heard a speaker in the summer talk about how we should not inspire children to want to go to Heaven. Because heaven is not the prize, he said. God is.
Making our physical homes, our spouses, our jobs or our ministries our homes sets us up to get lost. We put our hope in things and people only to get disappointed. We become disillusioned and we wander away from the source of our true home and hope.
Sometimes like that character in the book, we can’t find our way back. We are lost. All we really want is to go home but we can’t find it anymore. How do we get back?
We make it harder than it is, I think. In the story of the prodigal, the son turned towards home and found his dad waiting for him at the end of the drive. God is the same. If we turn to Him, He is there. Waiting to welcome us home.