Somewhere safe, to be yourself
Posted: 17 Aug 2012 @ 00:26
A reflection on many aspects of home, says David
Dreaming of Home:
Homecoming as a model for renewal and mission
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THERE are far more homeless people
than most imagine. There are those who are not at home at home,
those not at home with God, and those not at home with themselves:
people are emotionally and spiritually homeless. This book is a
call to come home.
Throughout, the meaning of home, and
feelings associated with it, are explored. Home is a place of
relationships, and, ideally, where we are loved, where we can be
ourselves, and grow. The first chapter deals with the homing
instinct, and the desire to be beloved on earth. In the second
chapter, home is seen as the place where we are able to share our
hopes, fears, and dreams. Yet home is where we can feel vulnerable.
For this reason, some choose exile as a "safe place".
A fictional story of Reuben the
Pharisee listening to the story of the Prodigal Son precedes each
chapter. This story brings out many issues. In the third chapter,
we meet the young, restless son who fails to recognise his home as
a place of grace. There is a danger that we all alienate ourselves
and fail to heed the voice that calls us "Beloved". It is only
after squandering his resources that the son "comes to himself". If
we do not listen to our own life, there is little chance that we
will truly listen to others. Returning, he discovers love,
generosity, and grace. Sadly, the son who does not venture is
living under the law, not the freedom, of home.
Seeking a homeland is explored. The
story of the children of Israel in exile is still being lived out.
We are still in captivity and in a desert land. There is need to
discover the Kingdom of God that is offered to us now as our home.
Then the church is viewed as a place where you should be at home.
We need to experiment with making the church welcoming through our
hospitality and liturgies. The author describes the Fresh
Expressions movement and his attempts at welcome through the Soul
Breakfast and Soul Sanctuary. In the final chapter, homing instinct
is given a new dimension. We search for where we can be beloved on
earth, but we need to know we are beloved by the beyond in our
At the end of each chapter, there are
useful questions for reflection.
Canon David Adam is a former Vicar
of Holy Island.