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When I was nine, I remember watching our new house surface from a plot of land. My brothers, especially Matt, loved the trucks, diggers, front loaders and whatever else was used to create a home from scratch. From one deep hole in the ground came this beautiful two-story brick house that served my family well all through our years of growing up. Besides the shelter of our home, a huge backyard graced the property. Many games of baseball, football, badminton and more filled hot summer days and crisp Autumn afternoons.
But seeing a home built and knowing it’s identified as a place of shelter, is one small piece. I began to think about home. As I went through my own home building recently, my thoughts returned often to reimagining home. God joined me in this time of reflection as I explored different ideas of home.
I revisited the question of what is home again and again. Part of me will always be searching for the answer. I know that home means different things to different people. Home is so much more than a place. We carry a piece of home in our hearts and we identify a feeling of home when we spend time with loved ones. Reimagining home requires a time of opening our minds and hearts to listen and identify how others describe home. It also takes an acceptance of the many answers and the chance that over the years our idea of home changes as we change.
Home growing up looked like family and the celebrations that resulted in a family of seven. Feelings of safety, love, and feeling valued filled my days. I didn’t question whether home would be there after school each day and knew the door was always open to visiting once I left.
What if the reimagining of home took you on a journey to discovering a place where you are always welcome? How can we embrace home when in a transition? What if your memories of home look nothing like mine? Do you still call it home? Is there one generic definition that fits everyone’s idea of home?
In the Bible, the idea of home takes on many meanings too. For the Shunammite woman, it is knowing she is at home with her people. For Naomi, it is traveling back to her people after her husband died with her daughter-in-law Ruth. The Israelites searched for years for the Promised Land, the place to call home but were distracted along the way. For many of us, it looks like reuniting with Jesus when He calls us home. 2 Corinthians 5 describes home like this:
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
Home is many things and wrapping our brain around one idea is not enough. Reimagining home takes us on a journey of rediscovering ourselves.