The Displaced Soul: finding home again

I think that perhaps many of us underestimate what it means to be displaced.

We hear stories of war, of families ejected from their homes.

We see apartment evictions and job loss.

But there is also displacement that happens slowly, over time, trickling into the spaces in which we live.

Sometimes the season we find ourselves in is raw– emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally– and we find that we ourselves have become lost to what once tethered us.

We just moved out of a two bedroom apartment into a three bedroom house in a coveted neighborhood at the center of our city.

We do not quickly forget the grace of God that brought us here, and because of that kindness, it’s not quite real that this is ours for a season.

We’ve been here a week, but somehow we are still expecting to go back to that apartment at the end of the day.

But with every morning we wake up and go to the front window to see bird feeders and blooming flowers, we realize that this is truly our space.

And suddenly we realize that while we so needed that little apartment, we were a little displaced there, waiting for something else to come along and bring us home.

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We forget that where our bodies go, our souls go, too–

and we leave an imprint on the walls of that apartment, on all our past spaces.

We leave those imprints for someone else and we acknowledge that his new place is for everything that we are and everything that we hope to be, the culmination of stories and hard work and dreams holding themselves within its walls.

Not everyone has the luxury of hand-picking a home, but we all choose what we bring to the home we have.

We choose simplicity or busynesss; we choose which broom to sweep the front porch with; which room will carry the home’s heart; what music will play while we do the dishes at the kitchen sink.

Our children choose where they will read their books and imagine that they are flying into outer space; they will choose how to sleep in bed every night and how long morning cuddles should last.

And so, every choice made is tethered to who we are, giving life or taking life away; giving grace to our souls or telling them that they have some things to work on.

It may not take a physical move to change us, to remind us of the grace around us.

It may simply mean looking, seeing what we thought wasn’t there before.

So we plant a small garden, we watch something grow, we get to know the neighbors we already have, we engage community and tether ourselves to something, remind ourselves that we are alive and well.

In all things, the way we inhabit decides the way we will live and move and have our being.

So for now, for us, that means morning coffee by the hummingbird feeder, a few moments every now and then to rest instead of hurrying along.

It means a place for my husband to work and think and dream by an open window overlooking the garden.

It’s an art desk for my oldest, Eliot, to color and imagine the world as bright as can be.

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It’s a cool, red wood floor for our husky to sprawl out on and rest in his old age.

And it means a front lawn where my littlest one takes his Goodwill-bought toy lawnmower and walks back and forth, back and forth, clearing space for new living to begin.

And if we cannot find our souls here, we will have a hard time finding our souls anywhere.

So let us place ourselves when we find that we were once displaced, and let us lean into grace, into peace, into the glorious good where it finds us in our everyday living.

Amen.

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