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Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Miracle of Home


Last Wednesday morning at 5:00 am we both woke up in our hotel room in Nice, France and made a dash for the airport. We took off over the Mediterranean at 7:30 am for our first flight to Paris. Paris was a typical mad-scramble, but we got on our big jet to Los Angeles and took off about 11:30 am out across the Atlantic, north over frozen Greenland and then southwest through the Rocky Mountains, arriving about 11 hours later in Los Angeles. After getting through lines of US Customs, we plopped into our bus seats for the two hour shuttle ride to Santa Barbara along Highway 1, kissing the Pacific Ocean along the way. In my jet-lagged haze I realized that in one day I flew over three global bodies of water! I couldn't imagine telling that to my grandfathers!!
But there is nothing like climbing into your own bed after a long trip. It is so good to be home! But this still is a new home for us. Our kids are not here with us, and I miss them profoundly. Our parents are both in other states. We do not own the house we live in now. Neither of us are native Californians. There is a lot that is still foreign and alien about this place...but it's home. France was wonderful and filled with beauty of many shades, but I was always an observer, a vacationer, a visitor there. I was there to watch and appreciate, but not change anything.
I realized that home is where you are called to participate and dig in, make changes and make a difference. Home is where you go from being and observer to a player. Home is where you have a responsible role that counts, what you do at home matters. What you do on vacation really doesn't.
Today I had the privilege again of preaching at Montecito Covenant. When I greeted people before the service, I was met with hugs and the repeated phrase, "Welcome home, we missed you both!" Home is where you worship, where your heart has a language that it can speak. There was so much about French worship that I loved, the elegant simplicity, the eucharist each week, the heavy use of Scripture and all the hymns...Oh my do they sing! But that's not where I'm called to serve and lead and preach.
There is much I found myself missing profoundly about Minneapolis while I was away: the choir and organ, the robes and vestments, the familiarity with so many friends in and out of the church, having a house we owned and called ours. I got sad a number of times in France, missing old friends and satisfying relationships. But Minneapolis is not home any more, it's not where I belong. It's not where I'm called. And when I saw the Montecito worshipers come into church today and I was able to pray and preach...I was home.
I had a deep conversation with one of the newer members at the church here, who stills feels kind of lost and alien. She asked me: "I know God calls us to be resident aliens, but will there ever come a time when we fit in and belong?" That's the ache for home, even while being a resident alien in a strange place.
As you are now mid-summer, do you know where home is? May you find it deep in God and where he calls and places you.

1 Comments:

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