Home should be a safe place but statistics say otherwise. Abuse, drugs, and all type of destructive behavior are common place in far too many homes. The idea that the head of the household might be shouting fills kids with terror! Nothing good could come from this. We may not be safe. Our friends might not be safe. There is everything to lose and nothing to gain.
It would be far too easy to throw church into that lump of an abusive home. I personally could join the masses that have stories to tell. If I stop and allow myself to reflect the pain comes rushing back, the scars are fresh wounds needed tending all over again, and my puzzlement grows.
Where is God in all of this? Why isn’t God stopping those representatives of evil? Isn’t there any accountability?
For far too long I have wondered aloud about the questions of being in a place I thought was safe yet only experienced as abusive and exploitive. These places are where one naturally goes for comfort and hope. If hope cannot be found here then where is it going to be found? If safety isn’t naturally here is anywhere safe? If I am at risk here, is home merely an illusive metaphor that will over time vanish into something forgotten?
Realty is that what I have called home isn’t home but merely a place that is a masquerade. Home is by definition somewhere you find people who nurture, care, and always look out for what is best for you and me. Church is, by definition a place where God call home and invites you and me as his kids to be. So when “God roars from Zion, shouts from Jerusalem. Earth and sky quake in terror. But God is a safe hiding place, a granite safe house for the children of Israel.” (Joel 3.16)
I have experienced home and church. It’s an awesome place to be. I want to be there today and everyday, just like Christmas. God has it ready. Everything is open and waiting.