I used to worry away at the issue of home- where was it? Why was it always somewhere that I wasn’t? Did I have to wait until after I had died to feel like I had a permanent address?
I certainly wasn’t homeless in any true sense, but I left my country of orgin aged five and didn’t return full time until I was twenty six; I felt at home wherever my parents lived but was away at boarding school, on a gap year and then at University (and their location frequently changed), and then I lived in Canada for four years but on a student visa which insisted that although I was living their, officially I lived somewhere else.
I think that the home issue settled down for me when I got married, because I belonged to a person and we did our moving together after that. And now we have lived together in the same village for six and a half years, the longest either of us has lived anywhere. We moved house in July, but just down the road. I am starting to feel local and rooted.
My parents moved back to England a few weeks ago, so I find myself in the new situation of feeling that I have two bases from which to opperate. I have fully grown up and left home, but it feels very warming and nice to know that an hour and a half’s drive away is another safe haven.
At one stage I came to the conclusion that as a Christian I had no right to expect to belong to a physical place- it was far holier to be geographically dislocated and instead find my home in God. I still hope to find more and more security in Christ, BUT, I have come to believe that discipleship happens on the ground you stand on, the community you live in, the garden you tend, the neighbours you do life with…I love Chalfont St Peter, and I thank God that he has let me make my home here.