Why Home Matters

We all want to know there is a landing or jumping off point in this chaos we call life.

Yesterday I lost my shit. I took my “Karen” to the internet and let loose, too. It was a sight to behold. All the while, but especially today, I have wondered, why am I acting like this? Why does having a home matter so much? I have a roof over my head right now, so why have I lost patience?

There are a lot of answers. I identify as an 8 on the enneagram- and at my innermost person, provision and stability of the basics is super important to me. I am motivated to provide that for others, but also, when my own is threatened, I become my most 8 self in anger and I will fight anyone in my path. *Did you hear my high pitched voice saying, “I will fight you!”???*

With well over 40 moves in my life of 47 years, while I am not a true Nomad, I relate deeply. When my partner’s mom died, a part of me died. Her home had been our permanent address (a military term) for over 20 years. With her death, I lost the only address I had ever had for years on end and any sense of a place to return to if things got really rough. But even with that, I have never felt like I really had a home, or at best, that I had a right to call a place home.

I have been homeless, too. I have slept in other people’s homes and even in a parked boat (yes, on wheels) for months on end. I have had “no forwarding address” and have lost contact with so many people over the years. I am pretty sure if previous life exists, I was seaweed or an airplant- no roots.

So when I ask myself, “Why does a house matter so much that I will lose my patience and go off on folks over yet another delay” I am asking from a perspective of not ever really having a home- not a real one that I can always say is there.

So if I can live this homeless in my heart and at times physically and still thrive, why does this matter? It comes down to this:

We all want a place we belong.

We all want to know there is a corner of this world where we can claim it and know it is ours and we belong to it too. We all want to know there is a landing or jumping off point in this chaos we call life. We want to know there is a touchstone- a place we can reset and reorient ourselves.

And here is what I have learned, too:

God is our touchstone.

When I lose focus on that (and yep, pastors do that, too!) I lose my sense of direction- as though my compass for life and the world is missing. And then I lose my shit and my patience. I can look past a lot of human failings and gaps until I lose focus on my touchstone- who reminds me I am more than this body.

And this is the story of the human condition; our need to know our place, yet limiting ourselves to our bodily needs denies our greatest one- to know we are claimed and can claim in return.

That is the meaning of home: A place where we are known, claimed and we know and claim in return. And this matters because we are created in love, for love, by the greatest Love.

So today, I am loving myself. I am reminding myself that God loves me and claims me and that is not undone by my very human moments of Karen-ness. Today I am forgiving myself and apologizing to those I was short with. I am remembering my place is all of this and none of it- and that is the best touchstone ever.

Author: mistressofdivinity

Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Riverside, California; a congregation of the Pacifica Synod in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Even though the diploma reads "Master of Divinity," the learning continues and I have the wrong body parts to earn a "masters" so I claim Mistress. I lean into this pastoral role more each day, learning to balance vocation and family, life and passion, living and loving.

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