Coming Home


I spent time, earlier this week, in the Therapeutic Community, reflecting on what it means to be home. I wrote. I wrote because writing feels safe and familiar; words give me the structure that I crave amidst the chaos and uncertainty that is my diary over the next few months.


Home is not bricks and mortar. Home is that place that you can return to again, and again; where you can be truly yourself, and where you are accepted for all that you are. Home might be a physical space; but it might also be a person, or a group of people.

The first image above is of my first home. My parental home, that I have reflected upon before. Then (as now) I considered Taize a place where I could return “home”. Where I could be reconciled to God, and to myself.

But since then, there have emerged other places that I could call “home”. The T.C. itself is one such group of people. I have shared with these folks the horrors of my past; the places my mind goes to these days, when I am triggered by something. They have helped me to disentangle the threads of my earlier life, to find a way of weaving them together again that makes sense; helps me feel OK about being me.

Another is my church. This week, an email; “what would you like to do [to mark your leaving]?”. I haven’t replied. I haven’t replied, because, as I find it hard to contemplate detaching from the T.C., I find it hard, too, to think about leaving the church. That  place, those people, are home. There, I have been real, and raw and vulnerable. I have been accepted in all the mess that I was in. I have made amazing friends. And it is with the church that I have decorated a Christmas tree each year; celebrated my successes, and theirs. Been pilgrim on a journey with them, companion on the road. I don’t want to leave that home.

I feel overwhelmed at all that has to be done in the coming weeks. With finding somewhere to live in a new country. Making a home for myself there. Above all else, I am trying to remember through all of these places and in all of these people, that God is always Home.

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2 Responses to Coming Home

  1. The book group at Dumfries Northwest has just finished reading – last night – Henri Nouwen’s ”The Return of The Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming’, so it was to our reflections that my mind turned on reading your blog.

    The book is a powerful reflection on the parable in Luke’s Gospel and the painting by Rembrandt, and I’m fairly certain that you’ve either read it when visiting East Church or that I’ve recommended it in the past.

    I’ve actually thought of you often while reading it again over the last several months. The question it asks us is whether we can allow both the younger son in us and the older son in us to ‘come home’. And it’s wonderful now to read your own story of homecoming.

    The implication of our own homecoming is that we, in turn, become just like the compassionate father.

    Welcome home! This calls for a celebration!



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