Home by another road
Home By Another Road.
“Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.” Matthew 2:12
What does it mean to “go home”? Sometimes I feel like home is a place I’ve never been. And yet I know the feeling of home. It’s the place where I’m always welcome. It’s the place where I don’t have to pretend, but can be just as I am, without fear of judgement. (And It’s a place where I get to pretend - to try on new parts of myself without judgement.) Home is the feeling of integration - of all the parts belonging. The good parts and the bad parts. The tears and the laughter. The ups and the downs. It all belongs.
But belonging is not the overarching narrative of 2020. A global pandemic kept us apart as factions within our nation grew ever more opposed. As thousands lay in hospital beds unable to breath, thousands more marched in the streets chanting “I can’t breathe!” - a collective cry of outrage and grief at yet another public lynching in America. 2020 left many with a sense of homelessness, wondering where in all the chaos they belong.
In a culture that determines belonging by the number of likes on our posts or by our ability to conform to a particular group’s prescription, “going home by another road” looks like allowing space for the unlikeable aspects of our selves - for the feelings we’d rather not feel. “Going home by another road” is an invitation to allow all the parts of us to belong. It is an invitation to grieve the losses of 2020.
Find home by a different road. Give space for grief, and it just might gift you something greater in return: home.
1. Lecture - Listen to Martín Prechtel, author of “The Smell of Rain on Dust” as he speaks on Grief & Praise. This is a noteworthy introduction to what grief can offer our stifled culture.
2. Quote - “To be human is to know loss in its many forms. This should not be seen as a depressing truth. Acknowledging this reality enables us to find our way into the grace that lies hidden in sorrow. We are most alive at the threshold between loss and revelation; every loss ultimately opens the way for a new encounter.” - Francis Weller