“If everyone valued home above gold, this world would be a merry place.”
Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit, Battle of the Five Armies
Home is where we are welcomed, where laughter flows and prayers are offered around the table, where silly photos are snapped in the kitchen and grown-ups dance to music from The Nutcracker ballet.
It’s also a place where hard conversations happen about new adventures, losses and challenges, triumphs and trials are shared.
For many people, such a place does not exist. It is a shattered dream, an ideal. Something they’ve lost and feel they will never find.
Without Jesus I would say the same.
But by God’s grace, I can rejoice that this was a treasured reality for me this last week. Christmas celebrations with friends and family, extended and otherwise, provided an opportunity to experience the warmth, joy and comfort of home. I also felt welcomed and heard. I relished the ease of words shared with people I’ve known for more than a decade.
I felt loved.
I felt safe.
I felt known.
Part of our family time included a ‘field trip’ to enjoy this last Hobbit film. Bilbo’s line struck me when I heard it and stayed with me long after the film. I realized it reached down into my spirit and struck a God chord there. Why?
We all long in our hearts to go home.
But home isn’t necessarily a physical place, a dwelling with four walls and a door (or a Hobbit hole under a tree.) ‘Home’ is a frame of mind, a sense of belonging, a confidence, with those you know best, that sometimes you don’t have to say anything to be understood.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has put eternity into man’s heart….
we were created to be at home with God.
We were created to know and be known by our Creator, who is calling us to Somewhere Else.
Our lives are the journey, God’s words are the map that show us the way, but He is the end.
I’m going….will you come, too?
**Photo of the ‘bridge’ to my friend Parris’ home in Louisiana