Finding home, the journey of a lifetime
“Scripture tells us that those who seek the Lord will praise him, for as they seek they find him, and on finding him they will praise him. Let me seek you then, Lord, even while I am calling upon you, and call upon you even as I believe in you; for to us you have indeed been preached. My faith calls upon you, Lord, this faith which is your gift to me, which you have breathed into me through the humanity of your Son and the ministry of your preacher” St Augustine of Hippo.
I have started referring to it as the Thursday of the email, do you know what I’m talking about? Thursday, March 12, around 10am. It read ‘dear students…’
then blurry vision,
“Here’s a tissue”,
….‘undergraduate students who live in on-campus residences or Brown-owned properties must vacate their residences as soon as possible and no later than Sunday, March 22, and complete the semester from their homes or at an alternate location away from campus.’
Then teary eyes…,
...and those tears started rolling down my cheeks uncontrollably (I know, if only it weren’t for Isaac Newton and his gravity!).
So was the Thursday of the email. I am sure it must have felt like a lot of other emotions for all of us: all valid, all true, all painfully agonizing.
To be honest, I still don’t remember what the email said except for that I should go home. And I sat there, and wondered, where is home today? I first left ‘home’ for boarding school in 2016, and two years later I compared the experience to that of a Fall leaf washed away into the vast ocean. This is what I wrote then:
Once upon a time…it was autumn, the leaves were transitioning from a bright green sparkle to a gloomy red shade…
a leaf was shed by a tree and slowly drifted away from it.
A soft breeze swept it off its feet, and threw it into the nearest river.
It floated and swayed as it flowed with the river into the Atlantic Ocean and shed a tear as it watched all that it left behind; everything it ever knew, the soil in which it had grown and the land it had called home.
Eventually, upon a coast in South Wales, the waves broke and it was washed onto shore.
Back to the Thursday of the email. I sat in Minden lounge and heard an aeroplane flying above me as I wondered, ‘Is it perhaps going to Southern Africa? They can drop me off around South-Africa and I’ll get a bus HOME, to my mom, my dad, my little sister, my cousins, my older brothers, to the people that I love, the people I left behind.
This feeling came back as I reflected on today’s gospel (Lk 24). Where was home for Jesus? And the disciples? The first question, in isolation, is easier to answer: Jesus is the son of God, and Jesus is God. So home for Jesus is Heaven.
But what about the disciples? They left everything they had and followed Christ so that they would be ‘catchers’ of men. But He was crucified, and He died. He was their home, as much as He is ours. How did it feel when He was taken away by the soldiers?
So, if the disciples’ home is Jesus, and our home too is Jesus, then maybe the response to the first question is not fully complete. Jesus’ home is Heaven, but His home is with us, in our hearts. Our hearts are as much His home as He is our home.
I guess my quest in finding home is still a work in progress, because it is a grander journey to finding Jesus.
… “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you”... St Augustine of Hippo
Mamaswatsi Kopeka is a Sophomore concentrating in Public Health and sent us this post from 315 Thayer, Providence RI (her new home).