Yesterday evening, I was snuggled up on the sofa with Sasha curled up next to me. The book I was thoroughly engaged with was Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson. Kristi sent it to me as she had an extra copy... a thoroughly wonderful vintage copy at that. I have now found a new author to look for at book sales. :)
As I was reading, I took a break to look around the living room. It is perhaps my favorite place in the entire world, very closely followed by my kitchen. Neither room is all that big but they are both... me. Except for switching out a couple pieces of artwork recently, the living room looks the same as when we moved into the house a few years ago. I wanted the English Country Library feel of it, which I think exists... mixed in with some Americana primitive.
For awhile after Storm died, I couldn't sit in that room and read. Having my feline best friend for nearly seventeen years always with me as I read, it brought grief to surface more than the room comforted me. Even Sasha's presence (her sister), could not ease that pain at the time. Now, more than a year later, Sasha curled next to me and the familiar surroundings can once again bring joy.
I find it interesting how our sense of place defines us and how needful we are of a place that is all us. Whether it is an entire room, a corner of an apartment, or even a soft and comfy bed we can call our own... we all need a Place. Our Lord understands that. He has gone to prepare a Place for us. Of all the promises He left (and there were many), that is one I have held to most often. The One who knows me best... better than I know myself... is preparing a Place for me.
In this uncertain world in which we live, how much more important it is now to have such a place here on earth. I find it interesting that many Depression era and WWII novels written from a woman's perspective had to do with just that... a sense of place... and everyday domestic duties going on as they have since one could remember. Men's movies all have the theme of conquering hero out on the battlefront. Women's (such as Mrs. Miniver) were about home and family and keeping some sense of normalcy in a world gone mad.
I find myself living in such a world today. It is a world I've only read possible in books regarding Bible prophecy or science fiction of a future age. It is a dangerous place where there is no peace. But then again, through history man has known little peace. Does it really matter if it is now on a worldwide scale as opposed to... our own Civil War?
There has always been need of a place of respite and comfort and peace. Some find it in gardens. Others in the woods alongside a river. Still others find peace at the seashore with the sound of waves crashing in against the shore. We all need such a place.
I find it in a rather smallish Midwestern ranch style home, among the trees. As I read a wonderful vintage book surrounded by favorite surroundings... I find peace. It is in this same place that mornings often find me with an open Bible and devotional, perhaps sermon notes at hand or reading a chapter from an inspiring book written by a gifted Bible teacher. It is here that I call out to my Father on behalf of myself, my family, friends, the nation in which we live... and as always... the peace of Jerusalem.
I have lived in many apartments and houses. Some places I hated to be in and was quite happy to leave. Others in which I had to move out of due to financial setbacks... the house of my dreams... not expensive but just what I had wanted.
In all of this I have realized two truths.
First, we can make anyplace a home for ourselves and loved ones by surrounding ourselves with those things that warm our heart and bring us peace... books, pictures, flowers, a favorite quilt or throw, an item made for us by those whom we love, an object brought back from a vacation we enjoyed, our furry best friends. Perhaps the aromas coming from the kitchen and filling the home with the memories of the times family and friends were here with us.
Second, this world is not our home. No matter how wonderful is our present place, in our hearts we know it is not perfect... there will always be that sense that something is missing.
We will see that Place someday, designed by He who knows us Best. Then we will know that we've arrived Home.