So much of what we're able to do in this world depends on what we think about a place called home. But what if home is not so much of a place at all, but rather, a situation?
It's easy for us to get in the bad habit of conceptualizing holy things in terms of time and space. I've written before about how dangerous it is to think of Eden and Heaven as being perfect places, since they are made perfect only by the relationships that are possible there - namely, the relationship between man and God.
And many of the early church fathers, the older theologians, would say that it is relationship that best defines our existence here, as well. It is relationship, they say, that puts us in connection with the image of God that is created in us. It is relationship that manifests what is holy in each of us. It is only when we are in relationship that we are the best version of ourselves, and the most near to what God has created us to be.
This means that we are who we most are, we are most comfortable with ourselves, we are most true to ourselves, not in a place but in our place; not in a location, but in a network.
Building relationships is net work.
Building relationships with the people around us weaves a net of connections with holy threads. All these people, they stand around us and behind us and beside us and under us, wrapping us in the comfort and security of relationship, of connectedness, of community, where we become more of who we were meant to be, not just in our own creation but in the very image of God, who is in constant relationship with Himself (Father, Son, and Spirit) and with His creation.
It is in this community, this connectedness, that we become most comfortable, that we feel like we have a place called home. We can either stretch this net of relationships out like a hammock and come to rest in it, secure in who we are as connected to other persons and to God Himself, or we can trust in the strength and security of our net to take risks, knowing that our community will catch us when we fall.
What's great about a home like this is that you never have to leave it. It's not a place you touch base with and then venture out into the world; it's a comfort and a security that you take with you wherever you go, knowing that your very life is held by these holy threads that hold you and your community together with the God who created you all. So you never have to worry about where you go or what you do; home is always one mindful breath away.
We think a lot about this place called home. But what really is home? It's nothing without the people and the God who love you so dearly. It's nothing without the relationships that give it meaning. It's nothing if not the tangled, holy web we weave.