I’m not sure but that I don’t always feel a bit homesick.
We’re in Ontario, right now, and me with two little boys crowded on my lap trying to find their way back to that safe place.
We returned from BC one week ago, spent two nights in our own beds and then, gone again, and Aiden plays on the beach now, sand in his hair building castles and moats and running in the water and clapping and at the end of it all, “I go home now,” he says. One day into our vacation.
It doesn’t matter the sunshine, the food, the newness of it all, home is somewhere safe for him. And it is for me, too. But I’m not sure that I’ve ever found that safe place in a building.
Even now our “home” doesn’t feel like one, with half the walls and flooring missing. And it’s been good this way, reminding me that everything on earth is kind of empty.
The way a seashell is: hollowed out and sounding of somewhere distant yet familiar.
And I keep listening to the empty sounds inside of me calling out for a God I’ve never physically met. A God whose lap I long to crawl onto.
“The ache for home lives in all of us,” writes Maya Angelou. “The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
Courtney Walsh uses this quote to introduce her second book in a startling new series about a town called Sweethaven. A town we all inwardly belong to, a town of people trying to belong and don’t we all? Don’t we go through life just trying to feel like we matter?
And yet, these characters in Walsh’s series, they do matter. To each other. In spite of the hardships they endure, the very real hardships which Walsh bravely addresses (like custody battles, and affairs), they belong to each other. They are home for each other.
And I think this is maybe church? A home away from home? A home away from heaven? And why can’t it be so? Why have we made it so awkward and lonely?
I don’t know that I haven’t always been a little homesick.
Today, I’m honored to be giving away a copy of my friend Courtney Walsh’s SECOND book in the Sweethaven series, A Sweethaven Homecoming … to win, let me know what “home” means to you.