I get the impression that many people will not be venturing far for summer vacation in this unforgettable year of 2020. Travel restrictions abound because of the pandemic. People are saying that they had hoped to make a trip to one destination or another, but travel advisories and quarantine mandates are causing them to stay home. Even if restrictions are eased, finding things to do near home often remains the preferred option, given the abiding fear of COVID-19.
As a concept, “home” is experienced differently from one person to the next. It may be associated with a dwelling, a birthplace, a network of close relationships. Many people – too many – are entirely without a home, whether that be due to having no abode or simply through loneliness. Staying “at home”, or doing things “near home” this summer will be either a welcome or unwelcome prospect, depending upon the person’s experience of “home”.
In the Christian view, “home” is our relationship with God. Within this relationship, all hoped-for experiences of a real home become actual – safety and security, peace, happiness, self-discovery and affirmation, freedom and acceptance, room for growth, mutual and unconditional love between persons, and so on. While the “homes” we try to create for ourselves often do not meet these expectations, being “at home” with God always does.