Today is the celebration of 13 years of marriage to my best friend. He is such a gift to me it is hard for me to fully explain but hopefully I can give you an image. All I need you to do is picture the place you feel the most at home.
Home is a powerful word. It may be defined as the place where one lives but I think I would change it to the place that we all want to live. Why? Because the word home brings with it a feeling, maybe even many feelings. When I think of home I think love, comfort, safety, joy, rest and so much more. A home is a place we feel accepted and welcomed. A home is a place we can be ourselves; there is no judgment there.
I have lived in a house that was not a home. Due to the choices of the person living there with me I did not feel safe or full of joy. There was tension and condemnation and fear. Though it was my residence it was not the place I longed to live. It was not home.
During that time I longed for the feelings of home. I longed for the feelings of the home I grew up in. It was during that time that I learned something about home. Home is not always a place. Home can be a person. Home is the feeling you get when you are in their space.
We all have what we call “personal space”. Personal space is described as “the air between your body and an invisible shield, or bubble, you have formed around yourself for any relationship”. This is normally the space we want people to stay out of. I have found, however, that certain people carry within that “bubble” a feeling of being loved, safe, accepted and comfortable. They make you feel at home.
This takes me back to my wonderful husband. After my divorce and living as a single mom for three years I started to notice a man at our church that intrigued me. I had friends that were suggesting that we date but he was quiet and was apparently very shy so I wasn’t sure he would ever ask me out. I would even purposely sit near him to give him the opportunity. That is when I noticed something powerful about him; he felt safe.
Long story short, I asked him out. Soon I felt more than just safe. I felt accepted and comfortable. His humor added much needed joy to those feelings. Soon the peace I felt being near him turned into an amazing love. When I was in his bubble I was home. Now for 13 married years, it has not mattered where we were. When we are together I am at home.
I think that he has taught me that becoming home for people is important. We all long for the feelings of home. There are many who don’t have a place that does that. There are many who find it hard to get to a place that does. What if I could be a home for them wherever we are? What if by just entering my personal space they can feel safe, accepted, joyful and loved. I want to learn how to do that.
So where do I go to learn? I believe the answer is Jesus. Better than anyone else, he could make people feel at home. His very presence brings love, safety, acceptance and so much more. If I long for those feelings all I have to do is draw near to Him. His bubble is my home.
I will be exploring this more over the next months. I hope to share this journey with you. I just know that Jesus may be calling all of us to learn how to start becoming home.