Isaiah 32:18 “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”
As I sat here this morning, listening to the silence of a house filled with sleeping family, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for a place called home. Dorothy, in the movie The Wizard of Oz, finds her way back by repeating the mantra “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”. George Moore, a novelist who lived in the early 1900’s, wrote “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” Fifty years after my birth, I have finally learned that home is so much more than a physical place.
Growing up I attended 6 high schools because of family upheaval. In the span of those four years I moved 8 times, living with 7 different family members. That didn’t count that my family had already moved 6 times by the time I had reached high school or that I moved another 21 times after graduating. To say that I had no idea what home was would be an understatement.
I searched for home constantly. I knew what home wasn’t. It wasn’t a place where I would be judged. It wasn’t a place where love was rationed out for good behavior. It wasn’t a place where I had to hide who I was or what I believed. It wasn’t the way I decorated or the things I put in it. I could not buy home or marry home or run to home. I could not find home in someone else’s home.
This morning God let me open a new gift. Wrapped in the mismatched paper of my life, tied with the ropes I had bound myself with, the tag addressed to me was written in beautiful script as only He could write it. Inside the box were the words of my children this week, the note from my sweetheart, the song of my friends love, the powerful message given as only a cucumber and tomato can give them. (Ha! You thought I was going to be totally serious for once!)
My son’s letter from Afghanistan with the words “I just want to come home and have you hug me”. Next to oldest daughter showing up with grandchildren in tow with the words “we just needed to come home”. Hearing one daughter tell another that “you can’t ask for a better place to have your children stay than at mother’s house”. Realizing that the request that I make sausage and biscuit gravy has nothing to do with them being hungry and everything to do with them just wanting to be a child sitting at my kitchen counter watching me cook, asking about their plans, knowing they were safe at home. Watching the smiles on my grandbabies faces as they repeated the words “God made you special and He loves you very much. My sweetheart texting me that “he loves me most” and can’t wait to get home.
Home is family. Home is friends. Home is love and laughter, music and mismatched china, veggie tales and muppets, sausage gravy and biscuits, quick phone calls and long letters, trivia with friends and quiet time with God. Home is all this and so much more. Home is not always a physical place on earth but it is a real place in Heaven. “In my Father’s House are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.” (John 14:2) And sometimes, Heaven is a place on earth when you realize you finally know what home is.
Dearest Adonai, thank You so much for showing me that by placing my life in Your Hands, You will give me home. Let me never stop making my home a place where You are present night and day. Let my door always be open to those who need to find peace by coming to a place that feels like home. Let those who are searching, find Your love and realize they are finally home. In the name of our Brother, Christ Jesus, Amen.
Copyright@2012 Michelle Welch, Breath of Life Women’s Ministry
NIV and KJV Bibles used for scripture
Photography property of Michelle Welch, all rights reserved.