Invite Heaven into your home
Regular contributor Jane Walters reflects on the importance of home, and considers what that means for a Christian.
Back in the day, nearly every house would have a sign – perhaps embroidered or painted – with one of these slogans: ‘Home, sweet home,’ ‘There’s no place like home’ or ‘Home is where the heart is.’ Behind their sentimentality lies the belief that home is where we should feel the most secure, the most loved, the most… well, “at home.”
The recent pandemic has changed our perception of home. Instead of being the place we were glad to return to at the end of a long day, it became the place we couldn’t leave. Not 'home sweet home' at all; but more like domestic imprisonment.
Now that restrictions are gradually being lifted, estate agents are reporting an upsurge in people wanting to move house. Frustration at being stuck within the same four walls has resulted in a longing for a change of scenery. Bigger gardens and rural living are on the wish-list, apparently. I happen to have my own house on the market, actually, although for very different reasons, and I know all-too-well about the search for a different pile of bricks that might, in time, feel like home.
What do we mean by that? What is being at home supposed to represent? For me, it includes having a sense of peace and somewhere to belong – those feelings increased when we share it with those we love. It’s the place where we shouldn’t have to pretend, where masks get hung up on the coat hooks when we shut the front door behind us. We only have to take a few steps inside and we find we’re breathing more freely.
When home isn’t like this, it’s all the harder to bear. Having a tense or, worse, an abusive atmosphere is unbearable and dangerous. Maybe the neighbours give us a hard time. If money is tight, things might be going wrong that we can’t afford to fix. While others tend to the roses around their front doors, we might just be trying to survive.
For the Christian believer, there is hope that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare our eternal home for us; but if that feels too far ahead, I have a suggestion. Another of the beloved old-time slogans was this: ‘Christ, the unseen guest at every meal.’ In other words, instead of waiting until we get to heaven, why not invite heaven to come down to where we are? That, surely, is the heart of the gospel, that Jesus makes His dwelling with us.
Let’s live – wherever that is – with His love and peace surrounding us. Surely that makes any home sweeter?
The image above is courtesy of Pixabay.com
Jane Walters, formerly Clamp, is the author of Too Soon, a mother’s journey through miscarriage (SPCK) and a regular contributor to Premier Radio and UCB. She leads creative writing retreats and is a popular speaker locally and further afield. Visit: www.janeclamp.com
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users.