A Moment to Reflect

7 May 2020

A Moment to Reflect – 9

a field in East Lothian last year

Since the 17th of March I have been to a large extent confined to home. (I had to self-isolate before the official lockdown took place for the majority of us on the 23rd. Fortunately my symptoms were relatively mild.) In fact, I know that I’m very fortunate. I have a lovely home with a large garden. I normally work from home anyway, so it was easier for me than for many others to adjust to the new situation. Yet, in these strange times, there are simple things I really miss that I previously took for granted— for instance, being able to welcome family and friends into our home and being able to visit others in their homes.

The situation has caused me to reflect on what we mean by ‘home’ and where our true home is to be found, and what it means to ‘feel at home.’ And here I like the words of the Psalmist: 

“O Lord, you have always been our home. Before you created the hills or brought the world into being, you were eternally God, and will be God forever.” [Ps 90 Good News Translation]

…and also some more words from Henri Nouwen

“For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life—pray always, work for others, read the Scriptures—and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again, even when I was close to despair.

Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not “How am I to find God?” but “How am I to let myself be found by him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” but “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And, finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” but “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.” 

― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming