home and wandering

From a prayer of Moses, the man of God (who was adopted from his family to live as an alien-prince in Egypt, who became a nomadic shepherd in the desert after murdering a man, who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, before dying within sight of the Promised Land):

Lord,

through all the generations, 

you have been our home.  

Psalm 90:1

 photo:  Andy Bruner

photo:  Andy Bruner

"Love is our foundation and love is our destiny.  It is where we come from and where we're headed."  Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality

"We are born to love as we are born to die, and between the heartbeats of thsoe two great mysteries lies all the tangled undergrowth of our tiny lives.  There is nowhere to go but through.  And so we walk on, lost, and lost again, in the mapless wilderness of love."  Tim Farrington, The Monk Downstairs

"[Getting lost] can happen anywhere, in all kinds of ways.  You can get lost on your way home.  You can get lost looking for love.  You can get lost between jobs.  You can get lost looking for God.  However it happens, take heart.  Others before you have found a way in the wilderness, where there are as many angels as there are wild beasts, and plenty of other lost people too.  All it takes is one of them to find you.  All it takes is you to find one of them."  Barbara Taylor Bradford, An Altar in the World

I have been thinking lately about Home.  

Home is a hard thing for me, because in many ways I feel that I have never had a real Place in the world, a real Place that is Home.  This is normal for people like me, Third Culture Kids who grew up in between and all over.

When I was younger, not having Home was a real grief to me.  Later on, I began to appreciate the way that I could feel comfortable in many places, not just the one Home.

And then, on one occasion when we were at my parents' home in Kentucky, I was sorting through a box of old photos, looking for pictures of all the homes I lived in as a child.  I was seriously into scrapbooking at the time--creating a sense of history and story for my life, even without a permanent Home reference-point, I think.  So I had this idea of making a page for my scrapbook of all my homes, all over the world.  And somehow at that same time, I ran across that scripture of Moses, the wandering man of God:

Lord, throughout the generations, you have been our home.

And there was a click in my brain and a settling in my heart, a big yes-and-aha moment.

God is my Home.

There may not be a Place in the world, but I do have a Home.

Lately I've been thinking about how Love is our Home.  

As Richard Rohr says, Love is where we  came from, and Love is where we are going.

As Tim Farrington says, we wander on, lost--yes--but lost in the wilderness of Love.

As the Prodigal Son said, "I will arise and go to my father." (Luke 15:18)

I came from Love, the Prodigal realized, and I'm going to get up out of this sorry pig-pen, and take myself right back there.

If there's any New Year's Resolution in me, it's to live in this realization:  

Love is my Home.  

New Years Day is really just another day in the calendar, just another day when the sun goes down and then comes up again.  But somehow, there's a Moment here.  An Occasion.

I'm conscious of all the unknowns, the good gifts, the hard gifts, the joys and sorrows that another year will bring.

And just like I've learned to contain all the places I've lived into that one Home that is God, that one Home that is Love--so I want to learn to receive all these experiences of gladness and sadness into that Home, into that Love.

I want to live every day in the reality that I may leave this Home, this Love, accidentally or on purpose at times, but Love is where I'm headed in the end.  

Because the promise is this:  no matter what happens: hell or high water, death, life, angels, demons, things present, things to come, height, depth, no creature, nothing separates us from God's love for us, demonstrated in the person of Jesus.  (Romans 8:38, 39)

There is no other destination for me and for you.  

Only Love.  

And we can never be separated from this Home and this Love.

And that's how I want to live this New Year--safe in Love, wherever the wandering takes me.

At The Table

Josh Garrels

I went the ways of wayward winds
In a world of trouble and sin
Walked a long and crooked mile
Behind a million rank and file
Forgot where I came from
Somewhere back when I was young
I was a good man’s child

‘Cause I lost some nameless things
My innocence flew away from me
She had to hide her face from my desire
To embrace forbidden fire
But at night I dream
She’s singing over me
Oh, oh, my child

Come on home, home to me
And I will hold you in my arms
And joyful be

There will always, always be
A place for you at my table
Return to me

Wondering where I might begin
Hear a voice upon the wind
She’s singing faint but singing true
Son, there ain’t nothing you can do
But listen close and follow me
I’ll take you where you’re meant to be
Just don’t lose faith

So I put my hand upon the plow
Wipe the sweat up from my brow
Plant the good seed along the way
As I look forward to the day
When at last I see
My Father run to me
Singing oh, my child

Come on home, home to me
And I will hold you in my arms
And joyful be

There will always, always be
A place for you at my table
Return to me
My child

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