FINALLY FEELING AT HOME
i remember the moment quite clearly, the instant in which i finally felt at home at st. columba’s scottish mission, the church i attend weekly and also volunteer at multiple days a week.
i was sitting by myself in the sanctuary, the music was just beginning to play at the start of the service, and the associate pastor and her husband were leading worship. it was december 27th at 11:15am.
the music was nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual gathering music that is common in so many western protestant church services. i was listening intently to the melody and breathing deeply with my eyes closed, taking advantage of the time to relax and refocus after the christmas holidays. i opened my eyes as the music ended and looked up to see njeri and wylie sitting at the front of the sanctuary, dressed in their robes and preparing to step forward and lead worship.
it was like time stood still as i looked up at them: the music was winding down, they were both opening their eyes and looking out at all of us seated in the sanctuary, and i felt a deep and resounding sense of peace. i was home. here with people that i know and love and feel close to, on a personal and spiritual level.
i’m not sure what it was about that moment that really brought everything together for me — i’m at the church at least three or four days a week, i know the people who attend services on a regular basis, hell, i’ve even baked chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen here! and yet none of those moments felt like home. somehow, while i was still comfortable here, it didn’t feel the same.
after finishing with the christmas holidays though i was exhausted and looking to feel like i belonged again. spending christmas day with my boss and his family was wonderful, but seven hours of being the outsider takes its toll on you, no matter how polite everyone there is.
and there it was — a sense of relief as washed over me as i walked into the sanctuary, greeted my friends, found my seat, and suddenly i was calm. my eyes were closed and it felt like a warm embrace surrounded me. i slowly opened my eyes as the music faded and the service began and i was filled with an overwhelming sense of peace. the words “you are home” reverberated sweetly and simply in my mind, and i knew it was true.
i was home.