When I was younger, when i’d get home a bit after the sun had set, every time I turned the corner and saw the tree in our compound, a chill would go down my spine and my heart would beat a tad bit faster. Who am I kidding anyway? It would beat a lot faster. Home didn’t really feel like a safe place. I didn’t realize that it was a little strange until I encountered something that made me question what I considered the norm.
Back in the day, I used to promise myself that when I got to start my own home, it would be a safe haven. Looking back, I probably had defined safe as ‘the absence of the chill down my spine when I saw the corner of the house.’ It seems a little funny in retrospect 😉 . A few days ago as I was coming home, I realized that every time I approach the corner and see the block of the apartments, warmth fills my heart. I’d never thought about it in relation to what I felt a couple of years ago but I was glad.
A friend of mine resolved that when she had her own place she would have a cookie jar on the dining table. For her this was a symbol that her house was an open place and that people should feel at home. Watching people around the dining table was very interesting; it’s as though the cookies disarmed them and they felt at home.
If you don’t feel safe in your own home, imagine how those who come by (including your children) feel? Putting your best foot forward to act happy and calm when the guests come is noble but a friend put it aptly, ‘you and your spouse are supposed to be the chief guests in your home’.
Charity begins at home; experience it before you share it.
What does a safe haven look like to both of you? What are the practical things that you can do to make your home safe? It may be something as seemingly mundane as a cookie jar or sweets on the table that make you or your spouse know it is a safe place, so don’t discriminate. Our journeys thus far have influenced the way that we look at life. After a while you realize that some of the small things have a huge significance and in light of the bigger picture, a cookie jar is really a non-issue.
May your home be a place that you enjoy spending time and not a pit stop in between the ‘legs’ of the week in the Amazing Race of your life. May it be a place that you feel free to drop the mask and the weights that you carry around and be vulnerable. May you not have to ‘dim’ your light for your star not to shine ‘too bright’. May you feel safe to dream without limits. May it be filled with love, laughter and peace. Life on this side of eternity is short, you might as well enjoy what is left of it.
Jesus makes the difference! His presence can melt all powers of the evil one. An important thing to remember is that fear is not of God, neither is the chill that used to go down my spine 🙂
Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
My God in whom I trust.
Invite HIM to dwell in your home that it may truly be a safe place, a refuge and a shelter, for you and everyone who dwells in it.