This post is a little tricky for me to write because, well, I think the idea of a middle class white girl talking about “the home” is somewhat nauseating. Between books on “Biblical womanhood” and Pinterest, I the think we may have done ourselves a disservice by unintentionally throwing potential out the window and replacing it with Stepford-itis. Not to mention, some of us don’t have homes. Some of us are renting rooms or crashing on couches and that is okay. I’m not here to advocate you get a ring and start decorating. I’m here to advocate the spirit of home and I believe this pertains to all of us, no matter our living situation.
Humans long for home, a place where they feel at rest. This rest isn’t necessarily physical (although it most certainly can be). I believe this rest is internal, a peace within. We crave shalom.
I think we can find shadows of shalom still in our broken world and this is why a home cooked meal, movie and popcorn with the best of friends or curling up in a squishy chair are so appealing. It doesn’t have to be where you live. It’s where you feel at rest.
Ideally, we would all feel this way in our place of residence but it is not always so. I believe our longings for shalom reveal that home matters. Craving the internal rest, the quiet afternoons, the cozy blankets . . . it matters. It’s a window into our souls that we were made for something better than this world has to offer us. We were made for Eden. Are we not sons of Adam and daughters of Eve? Did time not begin in a garden brimming with hope?
Cultivating a home (whether you are man or woman) is part of our human nature AND part of our duty here on earth, to create a place where we ourselves and those around us feel at home. Now, just like some of us are artists and some of us are lawyers, it is important to remember that this doesn’t look the same for everyone. Some of us don’t have homes, some of us travel around the world helping others build homes (literally). And yet we all crave home because we were designed for what was and what is to come. We were not made for death, poverty, hunger or strife.
Our homes matter because we have the opportunity to bring healing to a broken world, home being one of the loudest instruments at our disposal. Not everyone can identify with science or health or love for good literature (all instruments) but everyone can identify with home. A place of belonging. A place of refuge.
For those of us who do in fact have a home to call our own, it doesn’t begin with pretty things and good food. It begins with cultivating a place of shalom for your fellow dwellers and opening your doors to others on the outside . . . for an hour, a weekend, or a year. Everyone’s home is going to look different, smell different and sound different. Some of us can’t wait to paint the interior and others of us could care less. Some of us thrive on trying a new recipe on friends and some of us thrive on popping open a box of Ritz crackers. Whether you are offering your fellow dwellers/visitors brownies from scratch or Doritos, the heart of shalom can be the same. We can strive to reflect Eden in our methodology. We can strive to create a home no matter what our resources may be. That is the beauty of hospitality.
Some of us may thrive on fluffing the throw pillows and lighting welcoming candles. Some of us may thrive on bringing a home cooked meal to the table and using cloth napkins. Just as anatomy-loving doctors are able serve others through their knowledge and care, homemakers are able to serve others through offering bits of shalom. Not everyone is going to be an author and not everyone is going to be a homemaker. But for those of you who have the opportunity, let it be said that you have been given a tremendous opportunity to bring healing to a broken world, to spread a little Eden and reflect the new world that is to come. A world of hope, love, and peace.