This was the tagline of shirts made popular in 2004. Blame it on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ or the frequently fluctuating nature of pop culture, but at church, school, and life the shirt was rather popular. Note, it was also on trucker hats; thank you Ashton Kutcher. As trends tend to do, the shirts faded into obscurity and can probably be found for sale on Craigslist or repurposed on Etsy. However, as I have had my sense of home challenged, this thought as remained constantly on my mind. Not so much that Jesus is my homeboy. In hindsight, that shirt was a bit rude. I don’t even think the disciples would have the audacity to call Jesus their homeboy. Even if they didn’t figure out who he was until after His resurrection, they knew He was a big enough deal not to refer to Him as that, but I don’t want to get legalistic. If that shirt led you into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, then praise the Lord.
Last year around this time, my friend Marianne went to Kenya on a two-week mission trip. Before she departed, we met at her house to celebrate her birthday and pray for her. I cannot remember all the words of her sweet prayers, but these couples sentences have always stood out to me:
God, you know lies in store for me when I get there. Lord, I am scared to leave the comforts of my house, but Jesus wherever you are, I am home. Jesus, you are my home.
For four months, I have attempted to procure permanent housing. Most nights, I spend on the couch of two of the most constant reflections of the hospitality of the early church. Every so often, I will give the poor couch a break and sleep on the air mattress at another friend’s apartment or on the best of days an actual bed. However, I have not had my own bedroom in 4 months. Please do not assume ungratefulness. I am beyond grateful. I could be sleeping in my car or in an abandoned building. I could be wandering the streets at all hours of the day and night. I am not. My situation is far better than many other people. I daily work with homeless individuals; I know they would rather have a couch than the shelter. Nevertheless, my situation is difficult.
It is hard to be 23 and without a place to call your own. I want to host events and small groups, but this space does not belong to me. I want to have friends spend the night and do brunch, but I can’t. After a long day at work, I want to hole myself in my room and debrief and be alone. I want to cook and have a schedule and go running. I want a bed that I can sprawl out on and roll over in. I want pots and pans and decorations that I get to decide. I want a place to call my own. I don’t want a space; I want a home.
That is what I have been so desperately searching for since April. Where is my home? I have no home. Why can’t I find housing? Why is this so difficult? Why have we been rejected again? I hear the Lord, whisper to me, “I am your home”. My heart breaks. I know He is, but have I believed it? Have I trusted in the idea that Jesus really is my home? That when, I acknowledge His presence and dwell there that I have peace and feel like I am home? Do I even remember that this place, I am so desperately searching for, this house, this residency is my temporary residency and that Jesus is my actual home? Or that, God knows exactly how long I will be on this couch. Or even that He knows where the location of new home will be. Even further down the line, could it be in God’s infinite wisdom that He is simply preparing me for missions work in the future in which my housing will be unstable?
I don’t know? For every one thing I know, there are 17 billion that I don’t. Humph, for every one thing I know, God knows how many ways I know it incorrectly. What remains is this. Home is not your house. Home is not a bedroom or a bed. Home is not just a space that one occupies during periods of rest. Home is where Jesus is. Home centers on Him. In Him, I will find the comforts of a warm bed, the peace of my own space, the joy of freedom. Though, I will probably struggle with this come Monday, it remains true. Thankfully, truth is not based on my emotions.
It is a hard reality to come to terms with; especially, when I would rather tantrum it out or panic. The fear is sometimes still there, but it is slowly decreasing. Let my faith arise, O Lord.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
Jesus, is my home.
Also, this is my 100th post!!!!!!!!!!