Monday, November 18, 2013
A patchwork home~
My worry is for young people starting out life on their own but not knowing that they need a home. I don't mean that they are wandering the streets and sleeping in dumpsters. I mean that home has become this largely unattainable idea of grand McMansions with granite counter tops and expensive furniture. Or else, home has become just a place to shower in the morning and sleep at night; an unadorned and uninspiring storage unit for one's life. But that's not home, not really.
Our homes reflect an unfolding understanding of who we are over a lifetime. It's the place that provides a cradle to rest, a springboard to launch from and the stage for the tiniest moments that become Life. Home should be treasured and nurtured. We are busy, too busy. We fall through the doorway exhausted and in need of refueling and we need a place that will provide that. A place to be anchored. A place we'd rather be than anywhere else in the world.
Do you remember the scene from It's A Wonderful Life, when George and Mary lead the parade as a family moves into their first home? They cram children and boxes and even a goat into their car to lead the processional. Arriving, the Martini home is christened...Bread... that this house may never know hunger. [Mary hands a loaf of bread to Mrs. Martini] Mary: Salt... that life may always have flavor. [Mary hands a box of salt to Mrs. Martini] George Bailey: And wine... that joy and prosperity may reign forever. [George hands Mr. Martini a bottle of wine]
I can't remember the last time I knew of a housewarming. I mean a good old fashioned housewarming to celebrate and thank God for the provision of a home. People seem only to have such gatherings when they've moved into something grand and huge. In my mind, a housewarming should be a moment to pause and worship and soak in the miracle of home. It doesn't need to be a party to cut the ribbon on a perfectly appointed house (not that I'd mind having one of those!) I love the idea of a housewarming held to bring the basics that turn a place into a home. Groceries to stock the pantry, a coffee pot to greet the mornings, kitchen towels or paper towels. Friends and loved ones bit by bit bringing small and large items to fill the walls and in the process, to leave their fingerprints. How about a casserole dish filled with a warm dinner to enjoy and the new homeowners get to keep the dish itself? My first home(s) were largely furnished with hand-me-downs, and that made it even better. My grandma's old bed linens were soft and smelled like home, hers! And here was an extra soup pot from my mom and there was a set of wooden spoons from someone else and then cake platter found in a basement and none of it new. Items from home to home, those are the best. They seem to know how to settle right in and glow with a certain warmth that Ikea hasn't captured.
Home home home! I think that if we descended on the new homes of the people in our lives and stocked the pantries and spread old worn out quilts over beds; if we hung paintings snatched from our own living room walls to add a dash of color to a new living room; if we made sure there was a coffee pot (I think I have 3 old ones in my basement right now!) and a can of coffee to brew and one or two coffee cups from our own cabinets...I think the world could turn around. People would have an anchor, a haven, a place they long for during long work days. Husbands and wives would daydream about dinner together (and let's not forget to teach people how to cook a simple meal.) In moments of feeling alone in the world, they could look around and see the items that knit them to people who love them. A cup of tea from an mismatched set because each one came from a friend, couldn't that mean something on difficult days?
And forever, the memory of the day that people came in a parade through the door with dish soap or a dozen eggs or a toilet brush! A home, anointed with laughter and love and a little less anxiety when you realize you didn't even have toilet paper...thank goodness someone brought some!
Then we, who know the secret of home and the goodness of God might even stand on tiptoe and ask for every one's attention so that this place can be dedicated to the Lord in prayer.
Like a patchwork quilt, the hand-me-downs and old butter dishes and chipped dinner plates become sewn together by the Holy Spirit and before you know it...