Longing for Home

28 Apr

The house I grew up in, and yet not the house I grew up in.

This morning I was reading Longing for a Homeland by Lynn Anderson.  He tells a story of Dr. Scott Momaday, who, when he was a boy was taken to the home of an ‘old one’ on the Kiowan reservation:

The old one began to speak halting but spellbinding words to the boy, her tongue rich with the accents of the native peoples.  She recited poems and chanted songs of the Kiowa.  She told how the Kiowa had come from a hollow log in the Yellowstone River. . . . Fighting other tribes.  Blizzards.  The coming of the white man.  She told of the disappearance of the buffalo, then the starvation.  Moving south to Kansas, then Oklahoma.  Finally, humiliation, deprivation.  And Fort Sill. . . .

“When I arrived at the house of the old one that day I was a lad,” he said.  “When I left I was a Kiowa.”

Scott Momaday knows who he is because he knows his story.  He is a Kiowa.  For him, home isn’t a place; it is a joining of the story of his people.

We believers are a people too, and our people have a story.  We can find a home when we join that story instead of kicking against the pricks.  Many of us are homesick and try to fill that longing for home with people (who always disappoint) or trying to recreate a home, or feeling of home, from our childhood.  I’ve seen many marriages struggle because expectations of what home is were not met.  Our true home is a “circle of believers gathered around Jesus.”

We are “the people of his pasture, the flock under his care”  (Psalm 95:7).

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