Home Away from Home

I encountered the re-realization of a blessing today. It came in the midst of the lull of this summer, a lull after the start of a transition, a lull that isn’t really a lull because it’s actually very busy. You know, those vacations that are great but full and when you get home you need to sleep them off. Those summers of swim lessons, bike rides, groceries, appointments, back and froths, water balloons and forts. The summer of out of the norm and cramming everything in. The time when you need a break from your everyday so that you can come back refreshed to your everyday.
It’s the idea of disconnecting so you can reconnect. To see things through fresh eyes and refreshed heart. Where you’re not annoyed, you’re overjoyed. That’s the hope, anyway.
But sometimes that doesn’t come easily or quickly or readily and you’re sniffing around the edges of your life, not ready to really re-emerge but tired of being detached.
But there’s a downside, too. If you’re away too long you can become too detached or you realize you we ready to be back long ago.
I was missing my church family today. Missing them with a sharp pain of realizing that even though I was somewhere else, worshipping somewhere else, I wasn’t where I wanted to be. Ad this was a blessing. Because I realized that God has my family in a place where we are loved and cherished and challenged and supported. And I wanted to be there, not where I was. And it was a sweet realization.
But it was also incomplete. Incomplete because God used that moment of my discontent to make me see with new eyes. A I was looking around at the other place of worship that had welcomed me in this morning as a long overdue guest, God whispered to me “I’m heretoo, you know”.
And that opened my eyes. Because I was longing for my church home but failed to realize that I was looking at this from only one level. I was looking local and not universal. I was seeing my church home as ‘church’ and not ‘Church’.
God allowed me to see the beauty of his presence in the church around me. To see that the love of God that binds us beyond preference and location was present where those who love him were gathered. Too often we get caught up in our comfort of our church and we forget to find the excitement of God’s presence in the larger body of who we are as God’s children. It seems like such a simple thing but something that I was blessed to be reminded of. And it freed me. Not from missing the people who have made my church where I worship and serve a spiritual home, but freed me from seeing God there only. It allowed me to feel welcomed in a different place because God’s presence and those who desire it were there.
And I had a wonderful experience of God there. Because I was reminded of the breadth and depth of the body of Christ and He allowed me to see Him anew in the spiritual norm of my extended church family.