Wednesday, June 27, 2018

As if we do not have a home

From Nouwen's book, The Return of the Prodigal Son:
Leaving home is, then, much more than an historical event bound to time and place.  it is a denial of the spiritual reality that I belong to God with every part of my being, that God holds me safe in an eternal embrace, that a I am indeed carved in the palms of God's hands and hidden in their shadows.  leaving home means ignoring the truth that God has "fashioned me in secret, molded me in the depths of the earth and knitted me together in  my mother's womb."  Leaving home is living as though I do not yet have a home and must look far and wide to find one.
Consider the younger son in the parable. Consider what it meant that left home. There are times when we are the younger son. When we leave home. Reading this quote, we can grasp the idea that turning away from God is in a way doing what the younger son did. We leave home. We leave God. We act as if we do not have a home in God, and we strike out, searching for our home. For where we belong.

Repentance, then, is the returning. It is the remember that we belong to God, have a home in God. The Father accepts our return - and in fact never let us leave him in the first place.

As I read from Nouwen's book this morning, though, I was saddened by the realization that we leave God "as if we do not have a home and must look far and wide to find one." 

It is no wonder that we feel lost.

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