“Home is where the heart is” – what a wonderfully ambiguous old adage! Does it mean that home isn’t about a fixed location at all, but rather is the ability to feel at home no matter where we are? Or does it mean that home is a fixed location that we have a resident longing for, no matter where we are? Or is it actually possible to mean both at the same time? And what if this phenomenon is exactly what it means to live a life of faith . . . what do you think that would look like?
In many ways I see this as the native confession of my faith. On one hand, there is a larger framing of my life where I know myself to be an ambassador (2 Cor. 5: 20), advocating on behalf of a different realm, a realm that by faith, I claim to be my home. And on the other hand, I make my home in the life I’ve been given, living by faith in the presence of God, fully believing that my home is wherever he is (Psalm 90: 1). So I see myself as a pilgrim, my whole life being about making my way home . . . and as a resident, fully embracing the place God has me now.
This is what makes sojourning such an art form – learning to live fully in the moment, while not allowing that moment to define you; learning to be content and at peace with every circumstance, while unwaveringly embracing your longing for what should be. It is within the midst of these very tensions where our faith attempts to reorder and prioritize our lives — giving priority to what matters most . . . our need to pursue our relationships more deeply with God and others.
This really isn’t that surprising – because when we think of home, we think of the place where we are known and loved by those we know and love the most. So it only makes sense that if sojourning is about discovering what it means to be home, and being home is about the relationships we find there – then sojourning is best understood as a celebration of those relationships.
Therefore, it is my faith in God that allows me to long for a place I’ve never been, while learning to abide in his presence everywhere I go. And everywhere I go, I find myself in relationships with others who are also trying to figure out what it means to sojourn through this life. So I share with them, all of the beauty and the wonder of the home I long for – inviting them to make their way home, so that they might be known and loved in the way, only their hearts can understand. “Home is where the heart is” might not strike you as being a theological axiom – but I assure you, it is . . .
I have always been transfixed by the simplicity and melonchoic beauty
of this Bruce Cockburn song of sojourning