When I say the word home, what comes to mind?
Is it your present physical residence? Is it house or a community where you were born or grew up? Is it a place that you went to or continue to go to that just always feels like home? Is it not a place at all, but rather a group of people that feel like home when you’re with them? Is it just one of the above or are their multiple places that you experience as home?
This week the young people who are attending ECMN’s Quest Camp are spending some time talking about home. (Check out photos here!) Through the years I have surrounded by a number of friends and family members who count the place or people of their camp experience as home. Most describe it as a place where they feel accepted and loved, and as such, feel comfortable and at peace.
Similarly, many talk about places where they have deep roots and deep connection to both the culture and geography that brings forth a strong sense of affection and affiliation. “My family has been here for . . .” “We were founding members of . . .” “We’ve been going forever to . . .” are all manifestations of how some people lean into what home is for them.
For others, their narrative around home focuses on a community or group of people. It’s family or friends who have a strong, shared set of experiences that creates a bond that many describe as a feeling of home when they are together.
Conversely, their are many who very much feel homeless. For some, it is quite literal, as in, they do not have a space that they feel is theirs. Yet, for a great many others who have a roof over their heads have no real sense that they have a home.
Every faith community that I have ever been in has, for those who gather regularly there, been described as a home for them. Whether it be a congregation or camp or regular gathering of the faithful, it is a place where people feel they are welcomed, accepted, and loved by those they share space and experiences with.
We who have been blessed with a strong sense of home know how life-giving it is for us. May we do all that we can to be a blessing to others to help find a place, a people that they can know as home.