In the classic movie, “Wizard of Oz” Dorothy is swept up by a tornado and transported to the city of Oz. It is in the city of Oz that she encounters people, places, and events that bring color to her life. The plot moves along the Yellow Brick Road on the way to see the wizard. By the end of the movie Dorothy has come to the conclusion that there is no place like home. Tapping her heels and repeating the saying, “No place like home” she is transported back to her home of black and white. At home she is comforted by family and even strangers that she met on her escape from the farm. Dorothy found out that running away from home was not the answer.
I ran away from home once. I got tired of listening to my parents always telling me what to do. I got tired of helping my dad in the garden. I got tired of having to play with my little brothers. So, one evening just before supper I took off for the woods. I went as far as I could without losing sight of the house. As evening dusk begin to sweep through the trees, I heard my mom calling that supper was ready. So, I got up and went home. There is nothing like green beans, mashed potatoes, and corn bread to get a boy back home. It still works! There is something about home. Something about being in the comfort of familiar surroundings. Something about being with people who love you. There is no place like home!
We want a place of well-being. We are in search of the ideal place. We want to find a place to make a home. To be in a place is to know where you are, and to know where you are, in Wendell Berry’s words, is to “know who you are.” Our identity is wrapped up in the place that we call home. The place we call home gives us a sense of centering. We can drive the interstate to work but we know that at 5pm we can escape that place and come home. We can get on a plane and travel all over the world but we know we have somewhere to come home too. Home is where we lay down our heart.
On Sunday, August 11th 10:30 A.M. at Liberty Hill Church in Canton, Georgia (www.libertyhillumc.org) we are beginning a new series entitled “Come Home.” It is a series for all of us who feel homesick. We may have settled down in a place but it doesn’t necessarily mean we are at home. We still have this yearning. We will discover home is not something we choose but instead is a place that chooses us, molds us, and tells us who we are. Our real home is not the place we grew up or the new place we hope to discover, but the place where we were created to live.