we hung pictures today. folded clothes. cleaned floors. rearranged our mattresses into an L-shape on our stained tile floor. made curtains to cover the iron barred windows and put up a mosquito net. we listened to coldplay and danced. we swam and played. we had a water fight. we laughed. we cooked cabbage and rice (and sang our favorite songs). we ate. we did dishes. a lot of dishes. we wiped dirt off our faces. we cuddled. we listened to some more music, and then she went to sleep while i sat next to her. now, as i type, there is a large rodent in our attic that is running around, probably chasing mice or rats. it’s freaking me out a little…i wish i had something other than my mace to shoot at it if it decides to come through the ceiling. even so, this feels like home.
home: a place of residence or refuge.
for years, i have dreamed of calling a place “home”. i have moved a lot, lived in many different apartments, houses, communes, farms, gypsy caravans and garages. now i’m living in uganda. and i find myself thinking about home. longing for home. for that place of refuge where i feel comfort and warmth. where things are familiar. where i belong. i also find myself thinking more about all the people who do not have homes. people who live on the streets, people who recently lost everything in the bad storms. those tired, weary people with nowhere to go. everyone needs a home. it really doesn’t matter how it looks. what the standards are. i lived in the slums in Kenya and saw real homes in the middle of the rubble. comfort in the chaos. i have also lived in a mansion on a lake (as a nanny) and felt a sense of home there. so it doesn’t matter. but refuge matters. and belonging.
the tides have carried me farther and farther away from home, but at the same time they have brought me back again to the one who is my true and final home. “that he may dwell in us and we in him.” i am now intentionally seeking God more than ever before. i feel as if i have spent years living with my heart dislocated from the heart of God. i want to remain unsatisfied, aware of the void inside me. longing for a deeper connection.
God does not leave us alone in our searching. He does not wait for us to find our way back. He pursues us. He comes and finds us where we are, and then that place—wherever it happens to be—begins to feel like home. i don’t want to get comfortable here, i yearn for more intimacy with God. ashes to beauty.
God interrupts my mind to bring what was far, very very near. He tells me to breathe in and out and take it all in. He tells me to stay in the moment. to stay close to his heart. He whispers to me: come closer. come home.
Home (Phil Whickham)
Come riding on a rushing wind
Blow through our hair and touch our skin
I want to feel You now like I felt You then
Strip away my calloused heart
Set Your arrow hit Your mark
Bring me back to where love starts
Bring me back to where You are
Father I’m running Father I’m coming home
I cannot go on
Your child is running, Father I’m coming home
Back where I belong
I know You’ve heard this all before
When I’m down and crying on the floor
Saying I want You and nothing more
But I’m breaking in my heart tonight
I’ve tried to stand I’ve tried to fight
But I cannot see without Your light
No I cannot breathe without You
When I saw you I was ashamed
You were pure and I was stained
But You ran to me and You called my name
There were tears of joy upon Your face