I just started reading Finding Our Way Home by Mark McMinn. I bought it the last time I was browsing for cheap books on Amazon and set it aside so I’d start it next (after finishing Pride and Prejudice, or which I still have about seven pages that I can’t seem to make it through). It seemed like the kind of book that would… meet me where I’m at, and journey with me, and lead me… on. And I was right. The bus ride over to SNB tonight gave me the chance to read the first chapter. McMinn used an illustration from his own life that I could have written myself, and it resonated deeply with me.
The book is about home. There are many different types of homes, and many different ways we experience it. Sometimes you arrive somewhere and just know you’re home. I felt that way the first time I walked onto Judson’s campus. Sometimes it takes longer – a place grows on you, you have experiences, and it becomes home. Living in Minnesota was that way for me. And sometimes home isn’t a place at all. I came up with a lot of different personal “homes” as I was reading.
Homes Past – places, experiences, memories that were home and will always be remembered that way, but are gone forever. Playing the piano in my childhood home. Running the outdoor track at Judson with at 11pm. Dinner at 5:30 every weekday as a whole family, and homemade pizza on Saturdays. The piano in the empty sanctuary at my church in Michigan. Chapel at Judson. Laying on my back staring at a sky full of stars in the middle of the field outside our dormitory in Arizona. These are the homes that we long for, choose to remember the good and forget the bad.
Homes Nearby – experiences and places that aren’t everyday, but can be recreated. Starbucks with . Lying in a hammock with and (like the summer of 2003). The first smell of hyacinth in the spring. The first sip of White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks in the fall after summer’s deviation to frappuccinos. During stressful times or a particularly hard day at work, these are the type of experiences I seek out to comfort and calm me.
Homes Present – places, experiences, things that mean home for me right now. Hearing Etta James sing “At Last.” galloping down the hallway when I first get home from work. Being in ‘s arms. Nothing in the world could make me give those up.
Homes Future – that which causes my heart and soul to cry out for more, something beyond the now. “Ocean” by Ten Shekel Shirt. Certain books. Worship experiences that are extraordinary. Special conversations that catch me by surprise, often with a stranger or distant acquaintance.
and some other people know that if I get injured and have to be on life support in such a way that there’s really nothing of “me” left, I’m DNR – Do Not Resuscitate. Why? Let me go. I want to go home. Heaven, where I can be with Jesus, and everything is made right. The pull of that home hasn’t been as strong in the past few years; I’ve been much more disengaged from my own spiritual life. But it’s still there, that pull of home, always, and it’s what will eventually motivate me to… re-engage. It’s happening already. The book is helping too. Despite my recent revelations of my disillusionment with the church, I am starting to feel ready to again be active in my own spirituality.
I may not necessarily have figured everything out or be able to put what I have into clear statements, but my original desire to figure out who I am outside of the church, I feel I’ve accomplished that (as much as anyone can define themselves). There’s a separation now – I am my own person and exist independently of any church. (Before it was much closer to a co-dependent relationship, which we all know are unhealthy but hard to get out of.) I feel… healthier, more defined as a person, well-rounded, balanced, and as though I experience a broader part of the world than I did before.
Well, if anyone actually read all the way to the end of this, here’s a question for the comments: what is home to you?