"There is no house like the house of belonging"

Occasionally I am SO.GRIPPED. by a poem that I fully integrate it into my life - it becomes a mantra, something I meditate on, a fixture in my life. I reference it in conversation, preach on it, treat it almost like scripture. 

 

Wendell Berry’s Mad Farmer Liberation Front got me through seminary. 

“… be like the fox

who makes more tracks than necessary,

some in the wrong direction.

Practice resurrection.” 

 

These lines at the end of the poem spoke to me deeply as I took a rather circuitous route, meandering through a list of potential callings. 

 

Maya Angelou wrote (on twitter, no less!!)

“Listen to yourself, and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.” 

This reached me in the chaos of early motherhood, when my life was first re-arranged and I was searching for myself; not to find my identity as a mother but to add that identity in as a piece of my own divine voice. 

 

Most recently I have been in the grip of The House of Belonging by David Whyte. 

And I found myself
sitting up
in the quiet pathway
of light,

the tawny
close grained cedar
burning round
me like fire
and all the angels of this housely
heaven ascending
through the first
roof of light

the sun has made.

 

Ryan and I have been talking recently about what we want in a home - in our mid-thirties, for basically the first time ever, we are planning on buying a home we will live in, and we’ve been putting a lot of thought into it. I don’t mean what neighborhood we want to be in, or whether or not we want an open kitchen. But how we want to invest in and create a home. 

 

I knew immediately that I wanted the house from The House of Belonging, a “housely heaven.” 

 

There is so much more to this poem (really, you should read it!), but the next stanza is the basis for the living, belonging theology I want to create for my home. 

 

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long

to learn to love.

 

This home is bright - there is light burning as angels ascend easily in a comforting yet un-contained existence; a space held for them between earth and heaven. 

 

This home is lived in - by angels and other friends; by the supernatural and the very real, very tangible messiness of life we experience through friendships. 

 

This home is conducive to being the best version of yourself - it provides a place for learning, for loving, and it provides the infinite length of time needed to grasp, and wrestle, and work, and play with this learning and loving. 

 

This is how I understand God to be present in my home