I am in my childhood hometown today for a songwriting session. (Currently sitting in a parking lot. I came an hour too early. Oops.)
I thought it would be nostalgic; it’s literally been years since I’ve been here, but it all seems so foreign.
The high school I went to isn’t even there anymore. Not one single building. This massive, high-tech, ultra modern school that looks more like a small college has replaced it. I didn’t go to school there. I’m sitting in a parking lot where I am sure I kissed a boy… I just don’t remember who. I drove by my old house, the one where I lived out my high school days swimming and hanging out in the backyard till the wee hours with my friends, but it struck no connection. It did not feel like my house, much less my home.
Homeless. That’s how I feel right now.
I just thought there would be some sort of attachment to this place, but there isn’t. I can’t even recall a memory of feeling attached. My only attachments are the people who walked in and out of my life between these streets. The lifelong friends.
And come to think of it, that’s how I feel about my college town too, though I remember it more fondly as many, many amazing changes happened in my life there.
But when I drive through Waco, Texas I don’t feel the need to stop. LIE. I feel the need to stop at Ninfa’s, my favorite Mexican food restaurant in the country! But besides that there is not an attachment to my old college apartment, the campus itself, the church I went to, or even the first place where Ryan and I lived after we got married. It does not feel like my home either.
What happened to the Father of the Bride days? Where kids were raised in the same house and got married in the back yard? Does that still happen? Do those kids-turned-adults feel more secure? Or does it hold them back? Always being in the same place? Always coming back to the same thing? I am at a loss. Today some part of me mourns the hometown that isn’t.
So where is home?
As my sister left for Hawaii and entered into the life of a military wife she told me she didn’t know where her home was anymore. And I told her the first thing that came into my head…
I’m your home.
So I don’t have a childhood home.
But there are a lot of people out there, and they are my home. Mike and Patti, Sam and Leslie, Mark and Jade, Steve and Jackie, Steve and Debbie, Benjy and Penny, Howell and Ila, Mark and Molly… these people are my home. Alli, Sara, Brandi, Josh, Jama, Bryan, Missy, Kim, Francene, Kelly, Amy, Lani, the guys… these people are my home. Nashville, Weatherford, Dallas, Deming, Albuquerque, Waco, Hawaii… these places are my home.
So there is part of my soul today longing for a house on a street that I can pinpoint all my memories to; a place that bottles up and captures my childhood, youth, and college days. A place where I threw up as a six year old and as a twenty one year old. A place where the same bed, the same smells, the same clock on the wall, and the same tree in the front yard are still there. Something constant. Something physical.
Oh, but how un-physical this life truly is.
The very essence of what I have surrendered my life and my beliefs to are not physical. The Holy Spirit, that which embodies Jesus Christ and God, is transient. No home. No body. No country.
The Son of God had no place to rest his head and his words constantly reminded us that this was not our home. Jesus was talking about the world of course, but I’m sure He’d agree with me on the house thing to. I don’t think he bought a three bedroom, two-bath home in a nice neighborhood and settled down for good. Not that that is bad. I think it’s a beautiful gift to give your children and grandchildren if you can. But still, I think Jesus got the whole feeling physically homeless bit.
Somehow this is all very freeing.
Though a part of me mourns an ideal; most of me rejoices in my reality.
My husband is my home. My parents are my home. My sisters are my home. My friends are my home. My partners in ministry are my home. Heck, even Josh Wax is part of my home now! A thousand different people make up this beautiful, beautiful home I have.
It may not have a physical address, but it is constant. It is secure. And it is more enduring than any four walls.
So today I realized… thank God I’m homeless.