Home time

11 Jan

For sometime into my childhood, I held on to a habit that my mother had to convince she couldn’t keep up any more. My school was housed in the grounds of a convent and the building was old and large for that area and the time. And on one side of the building was the main staircase – an old-fashioned, ballroom-type structure that wound down the hallways of three floors on both sides with beautiful, wooden banisters on either side.

They were quite… slidable too. The banisters. I loved school.

And every afternoon, in the crowd of 3000 or so young girls milling out (given there was one other entrance, I’ll settle for 2000) onto the hallways and down those staircases, I would walk with my 13-kilo heavy, Indian schoolbag. On the last flight – and sometimes I’d wait for the crowds to leave just for this moment – I’d crane my neck to spot my mother or my father waiting by the entrance. And when I saw them there, I would suddenly run down to halfway down the stairs and jump off them into their arms.

No, it didn’t last for very long into my youth. But there was a little jump of gladness in my tummy, and I couldn’t wait to be home. I knew of course that I would land in strong arms. I trusted those arms, and home time began there.

I’ve been thinking about the people we feel most comfortable with, the places we feel most at home at.

I used to think I was one of those highly favoured ‘universally comfortable’ people. You know, the kind to whom a dozen people can talk to and relate with. And the kind that people don’t generally run into relational problems with.

Until that rule got broken and I learned how to extend grace. A few times. More times than I could reasonably get away with attributing to random chance. I’ve concluded that I’m not one of those people who only ever has pleasing opinions. I can’t be. Even if I wanted to be, I would be sacrificing pleasing God.

I doubt that anyone can. Yet social graces come easy to some people. Communication comes easy. Me – my blog is unknown to my friends because I can’t bring myself to talk about myself or open my heart so much to people in general. It’s a slow process.

There are a few places, then, that I can be myself. A few people. God and a couple others. But even my mother doesn’t always see me.

And there is – inside – a desperate need for recognition in everybody. A need to explain, to defend, to show someone else who you really are. And the relief is so great, the tears fall… when that happens.

That’s why I’m always a little teary in God’s presence.

A little raw. A little open. A little vulnerable.

I keep re-learning this lesson. This is home. Here leaning on the knowledge of his presence, hearing the things he’s speaking into the rest of my life. And I should stop looking for what I’ve already found.


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