Home is one of the most fundamental human needs.The greatest gift we can be given, that we should thank our lucky stars for everyday if we had it, is loving parents and a warm home. Life is often about builidng a home, finding a place to put down roots, to make your own, a place that speaks of you are your place in the world. We Brits are thoroughly obsessed with home, aren't we? Stick on Location, Location and pop us on a sofa and we're golden. I love mine to bits. It is thoroughly trussed up and often reinvented. It is my haven and my resting place.
When out house was broken into I realised what happens when your home no longer feels safe anymore. Suddenly your security is gone, the place where you curl up in a ball in front of the telly after a hard day has been forever changed. The place where you are most vulnerable, where you sleep, cry, laugh and throw birthday parties, has been trampled on. I wailed when it happened to me. And yet the idea of home had dramatically changed for me since I encountered God and I was glad for it at that time.
Home was the second word I spoke about God (I'll leave you guessing on the first!). A sense of 'home' was one of the first feeling that I associated with him. Not that I suddenly had a window on some heavenly place, full of fluffy clouds and angels playing harps and some bearded man standing arms wide open where I instantly hoped I'd go to one day. No, the Christian story I embraced of God made man is a commitment to everything we are - flesh and blood and dramas and laughter and baking and telly and gardening and dog walking and box sets and chips.
I think that the Christian story tells us that God is fundamentally, wholeheartedly fixed on transforming what is broken in our world and putting it, and us, back together. God will give anything for that end, even himself. Home is not a place we go to. It is the one who comes to us. Who fills us with a sense of peace and belonging because we have found what it is we are made for. Home is not a place, it is a person. Home is God. It cannot be shaken, or trespassed in. No one can take it from you, or burn it down, the price of it will never fall, you will never get sick of it.
I love this poem by Emily Bronte because it reminds me that I am both on a journey to my 'home' and already in it. I journey on as I discover more of God and yet I live in this tragic and broken world, and yet somehow my heart is already at home with God and always has been. That 'will be my pole star to the grave'.
Now Trust a Heart That Trusts in You
Now trust a heart that trusts in you,
And firmly say the word 'Adieu';
Be sure wherever I may roam,
My heart is with your heart at home.
Unless there be no truth on earth,
And vows meant true are nothing worth,
And mortal man have no control
Over his unhappy soul;
Unless I change in every thought,
And memory will restore me nought,
And all I have of virtue die
Beneath a far and foreign sky.
The mountain peasant loves the heath
Better than richest plains beneath;
He would not give one moorland wild
For all the fields that ever smiled;
And whiter brows than yours may be,
And rosier cheeks my eyes may see,
And lightning looks from orbs divine
About my pathway burn and shine;
But that pure light, changeless and strong,
Cherished and watched and nursed so long;
That love that first its glory gave
Shall be my pole star to the grave.