My soul is at home flipping through the pages of five books at a time while I get a great idea that I am compelled to write about. A wonderful memory of when my soul was at home was when I was writing a paper on “In what ways do I understand God to be present amidst conflict?” for my Skills in Conflicts Transformation class. I had Daniel Migliore open as I described the ideal vision of community as “Perichoresis.” Howard Thurman spoke to me about meditating on the enlargement of my heart to accommodate peace. Desmond Tutu nagged me about my prayers around conflict have to have an essential Africanness to them. Walter Bruggemann knocked on the doors of my mind and reminded me about reorientation as transformational. John Paul Lederach led me through the slow intentional waltz steps that Peace, Mercy and Justice and Truth synchronized while bata drums beat in the background. Gifts yielded forth.
My soul exhales, making room for home, when I am praying and revelation comes from God’s word, when I write and discover newness in my own soul as the words take life on the screen or the paper. Revelation yields forth.
My soul is at home in my friend Jennifer’s kitchen absorbing the aroma of pesto on her baked salmon as I sip on a glass of a $3.99 bottle of exquisite Malbec wine found at the Dekalb farmer’s market. Friendship yields forth.
My soul is at home in Boston in my sister’s kitchen cooking peppery efo stew and writing the recipe down for the umpteenth time, cherishing and adoring my only sister. Family yields forth.
My soul was at home behind prison barbed wires listening to women bawdily talk about sex intertwined with theology. Redemption yields forth.
My soul purrs with contentment when I engage in conversation with an exchange student from Nigeria, via South Africa, as we discuss the problems of the overlay of superficial understandings of our shared Christian faith on Nigerian ethnic world-views. The blend of faith, theology, intellect, personal experience and cultural exchange is home for my soul. Hope yields forth.
My soul is at home in church, a home fellowship, when my God-Father is preaching as tears run down his face and I look at his wife’s empty seat and my heart sinks with grief. I am rebelliously learning to be at home in her absence although I am fully at home in her house. Love yields forth.
My soul is at home in the arms that hug me and hold me and speak of my destiny and my gifts as I roam the halls of Candler School of Theology and Pitts Theology Library. Community yields forth.
My soul is at home picking off the grey, wiry long hairs of my mentor off the back of her black sweater. I am equally at home typing the dictations of my other boss’s genius creativity as I simultaneously try to absorb the color combinations of his adornments. My spiritual doulas yield forth.
I am at home here, now, in me, with you.
Where are you at home? What influences you? What experiences and locations make that feeling of groundedness deep in your belly swell up?