Which are you?
At this time of the year, with the holidays upon us, do you often think of home?
And what is home? By definition it is the place where one lives permanently. According to novelist James Baldwin, home is not a place but is an irrevocable condition. I tend to agree with Baldwin. Irrevocable. Unchanging. Absolute. Final. Home is within us, and it cannot be defined by a place. So, the old adage is true---Home is where the heart is. It is security, comfort, hope, peace. Maya Angelou, who was greatly influenced by Baldwin's writings, said that "The ache for home lives in all of us...the safe place where we can go and not be questioned."
It's interesting to me how the world has used the word home in so many different applications. Look at sports. Our mighty Atlanta Braves had homefield advantage Sunday night but were unable to clinch the World Series victory by driving enough runs home. But, yay, they did shut out the Houston Astros on their home turf in Texas last night. Go Braves!
In business, there's a home office, usually where the company began and remains as the control center for operations. Look at your keyboard on your PC. See the home button? It returns you to the beginning of the line (to home) when you're typing up a document, like Word. Do you Facebook? The house icon takes you to your home page where you can see your wall of posts from your friends, family and other connections. It sounds more like a house than a home.
Let's go back to the idea of home being a condition, within us, rather than a place.
So those who are homeless, are they homeless or are they actually house-less? Maybe. It could be that some are "homebodies" without a dwelling but who carry their home within themselves, no matter where they are. If they are without security, comfort, hope, peace, will a house or dwelling make a difference? Perhaps. It may address the security and comfort needed, which in turn, can bring hope for a brighter future and a sense of peace. So, it is a good place to start.
What about those in broken homes? The dwelling may not be broken, but the inhabitants are. If they are without security, comfort, hope, peace, will a house or dwelling make a difference? In this case, I believe the home within is broken, and it takes a community to help repair the damage.
We are blessed in this community to have several organizations who are striving to do just that. If you would like to be a part of that effort, please reach out to me, and I'll be happy to connect you with the one which fits your talents and passions best.
To answer my own question, I'm a homebody. I'm not comfortable out of my comfort zone, which is my internal home. Traveling is fine from time to time. Moving is the pits. I hate the logistics of moving, but once settled in, I take root. I moved to Chattooga three years ago, and I've taken root and sprouted. I had a longing to be closer to my parents---a big part of my home. Since then, I have had losses in my family which have left holes in parts of my home. But I have an attic in my heart, which holds precious memories, laughter, and virtual pictures of my family. I have also added to my home by getting married last year and moving again. That's the great thing about home being an irrevocable condition rather than a physical place; it can grow without having to pack up boxes, add on to or build a house, or fill out a change of address form.
Cindy Rivers McGraw