Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Fort Myers Beach, FL

The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible or Old Testament to Christians) tells the story of the Garden of Eden which was God’s first home for His human creation, but no matter how grand He made it we did not think it was good enough.  Jerusalem was the center or main home of the Jewish people, but think of how many times it was conquered and lost to other nations.  Stephen King wrote in his last book Revival that home was were they did not want you to leave. Washington, D.C. is our national capital and our nation’s home so to speak, but if you live on the streets there as I have, you soon find out you are not welcome in your home.

You have heard said that home is where your heart is.  I say home is where your heart is held in the loving hands of a caring community.  This embrace of soul and self is not always found in one’s family or in the neighborhood church or in any traditional community.  

“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul. It is one of the hardest to define. A human being has roots by virtue of his real, active and natural participation in the life of a community which preserves in living shape certain particular treasures of the past and certain particular expectations for the future.” 
– Simone Weil, in her book The Need for Roots   

Simone Weil (/veɪ/; French: [simɔn vɛj]; February 3, 1909 – August 24, 1943) was a French philosopher, Christian mystic, and political activist.  I don’t think Simone ever found a home.  

“After a lifetime of battling illness and frailty, Weil died in August 1943 from cardiac failure at the age of 34. The coroner's report said that "the deceased did kill and slay herself by refusing to eat whilst the balance of her mind was disturbed".  The exact cause of her death remains a subject of debate. However, Simone Pétrement, one of Weil's first and most significant biographers, regards the coroner's report as simply mistaken. Basing her opinion on letters written by the personnel of the sanatorium at which Simone Weil was treated, Pétrement affirms that Weil asked for food on different occasions while she was hospitalized and even ate a little bit a few days before her death; according to her, it is in fact Weil's poor health condition that eventually made her unable to eat.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_Weil)

What would a home be like.  A place where I would be seen as whole even with all my brokenness.  The best example of this in literature is the way Jesus treated those He came in contact with.  He did not smile and agree with all they said and did or had done in their lives, but on the other side He was always willing to be with them and break bread with them.  

Home is where your soul and self are embraced, but not where your harmful actions are endorsed to the detriment of yourself or the community.  It is not a place to seek praise, but rather a place to seek peace for your inner self.  It may be hard to find, but it is worth seeking.

© Ed Cooper, April 21, 2015, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
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