“Home is where my Teddy bear lives,” said my little Canadian neighbor.
“Home is where no one introduces you,” wrote a student.
“Home is where my stuff is,” observed a new teammate after being moved several times.
“Home is where I have the only keys to the door,” were my words until I lived where several had this possession.
“Home is where my music’s playing,” sang Simon and Garfunkel.
I’m sure many readers are saying amen and adding their own definitions. It can be a tough-to-describe place. Sometimes I have surprised myself at the locations where I’ve said, “it’s so good to be home!” Once I returned from a particularly traumatic 2 weeks of travel. Illness, misunderstandings, bad weather, accommodation issues and daily tension. Even as I put the key in my door I smiled. What was inside? A beautifully furnished apartment? A shared two-bedroom house? No, an 800 square foot dorm room with furnishings so small we foreign students dubbed them the elf closet and bed. But for that year it was mine.
For that year. All my dwelling places have limitations to them. Teddy bears get lost and little boys forget them. I clearly understand the difference between walking into a room where you hear, “well, look who’s back!” or “who are you with?” But do I really want to live where I never meet new people? Stuff is infamously ephemeral. Precious today yet not making the two-suitcase cut at the end of the year. My keys comment speaks for itself. Yes, I called those places mine for a time and maybe so did someone else. True, home is where my favorite music is played. But my preferences will change.
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2
CS Lewis describes this fleeting nature of our homes in The Problem of Pain. The transience of stuffed animals, key possession, and kindred spirits remind us we are not home yet. Until then our impermanence clings to His presence on all sides of the sea. Someday the joy at opening our little dorm rooms will be totally forgotten when we see what God has prepared for us.
What stands out about one or two of your homes out of your passport country?