“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” – James Baldwin
I’ve been thinking a lot about home recently. Where is my home? Is home made up of human beings, the people who know you best and the expectations that come with that? Is home a place, an actual location that you make your own, the place you grew up, or the place you lived the longest? Or is home your happy place, not necessarily an actual location, but a state of being? Maybe home is all these things and more. I wasn’t quite sure until today.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what home means because during midterms (the gathering of a Global Mission Fellow cohort by GBGM about halfway through our service for a time of debrief and reflection) my cohort and I attended the Ecumenical Advocacy Days conference in Arlington, VA. At the conference, we were given name tags with our “home” printed beneath our names. For the first time in my life, my home was listed as a place that wasn’t Virginia. I really struggled with that, especially because I was the only person from Oklahoma at the conference and I kept running into people from Virginia. I had to ask myself if Oklahoma is home. If not, what or where is home?
“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou
Right now, I don’t feel like Oklahoma is really home. To be honest, I don’t know if Oklahoma will ever feel like my safe place, and I think I’m okay with that, so geography seems less important. In terms of it being the people you love, my favorite poet has a line in one of her incredible works that says “you can’t make homes out of human beings, someone should have already told you that” (Warsan Shire). It’s a line that has always stuck with me. How can human beings be home if they can leave you?
Well folks, I think I found my answer. I came to the conclusion today. I don’t believe I need to worry about finding my home because I think it has been there all along, waiting for me to recognize it. I think you find it in God. Not to sound too preachy, but God seems to be the best source of comfort, safety, and love a person can find. We tend to focus pretty heavily on the part where we’re not worthy of the love God has for us, but I think it’s more important to focus on the part where despite everything, God loves us through it. God can be found everywhere. God is steadfast, unwavering in love for us. What is more powerful and shouting of home than agape love? So if you’re like me and you’ve been trying to figure out where home is, try finding it in God.
Thank you, Mother Father Creator God, for your agape love and your allowance for us to find home in you. Amen.
The Gallery After School Program
Oklahoma City, OK
Global Mission Fellow US-2, Class of 2015-2017