[Thoughts from the conference where I'll be this week: Writing and the Pastoral Life. I'm in rural Minnesota, at St. John's University and Abbey]
Every afternoon, we are asked to do a free-write using a particular prompt. Here's what came out of yesterday's question: What is Home?
My home looks like the love of my life-- like waking up next to my snoring, farting soul mate-- the one I've chosen to be with for life. It looks like a place that is really lived in, with dirty socks littering the floor of most rooms, and the remains of whatever we scrounged (because it's likely that I didn't cook) for dinner last night still on the coffee table.
My home smells like dog. It smells like a boxer mutt who played in the mud puddle that she shouldn't have. It smells like the beagle that's more exactly built like a pig-- who just wants to lie down, be loved, and grow old.
My home feels like a cat who's so soft that his fur might make a delightful pair of knitted pair of socks. It feels like a hungry cat who is convinced that if she pretends to adore you just enough, you will immediately jump up to attend her every need.
Today, my home feels far away. Today I miss my snoring soulmate, and wish I could bring him into this world I've stumbled into. But this world is not home.
WHen I return home, things will be different. I'll be different. I'll have more "things" to put in my home: a heart more attuned to its desires, a dream unstuck.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.