What does the word home mean to you?
Perhaps it’s a cosy fire. Or the smell of cooking. Perhaps it’s also your workplace. Perhaps you’d like to escape it more often than you do. Or perhaps you’d like to be there more often than you are. Maybe it’s a house. Maybe it’s a country. Maybe you have more than one home.
Let me share some of my thoughts…
I was born in England, moved to Seychelles at 15 months, moved to Pakistan at 4, and returned to England at 14 (having had a few ‘furloughs’ here in the interim). 3 countries.
I lived in (I believe) one house in Seychelles (my family had lived in another prior to my birth), two houses (not at the same time!) in Pakistan as well as boarding school, and three houses before adulthood in England. A few houses, but not a vast number, by any stretch.
So, where is home? Well, this might cause some confusion. There was one particular deputation meeting (a visit to a church to tell them what we were up to overseas) where our family was all up on stage answering questions. My Mum asked my brother, ‘what do you like best about being at home?’ He responded, ‘where’s home?’
Personally, I would consider home to be a number of houses and more than one country. Furthermore, there are many other places where I feel ‘at home’. And yet, I believe that, in truth, these feelings of being at home are only a shadow, a glimpse, of what it is like to be home. Home might be the memories, the smells, the familiarity, but, fundamentally, it is also the people, the relationships. The Bible tells me that I am not yet home. This life will never provide me with a true home, because this life will always carry with it a separation from God that only death will change.
So when I worry and doubt, when I feel lost, tired, emotional, burdened and a host of other things, I try to remind myself that I’m homesick. Having been to boarding school, I know the feeling all too well (though can say, with all honesty, that boarding school became one of the many places I would consider ‘home’). I need to, in the words of a classic 80’s Christian song, ‘remember the future’.
What makes you homesick?