Church Home. Church. Home.
What a strange combination of words. Is there another institution or group of people, other than an actual family, where once we have found our place in it we call "home?"
Lion's Club Home?
Favorite Artist Fan Club Home?
None of those have quite the same ring. We may, indeed, find comfort and solidarity in any of those places, but there is something missing about these groups that make it just a tiny bit strange to refer to as your home.
But Church Home, I can handle. I realize this is perhaps because I actually grew up in a church, spending almost as much time in it's confines and participating in it's events as in my own house.
I think it's really about belonging and the need to be with people that may not understand you, may not even like you, but have chosen to walk the same path. And then there are those who totally "get" you and and like being around you and make you feel like there's more to you than you think about yourself.
I have a large extended family, so this instincively makes sense to me. This Thursday I will travel to Chandler to be with a large group of people who share my last name and look so much like me that it would make you crack up. There were nine children in my dad's family. I am the next to the youngest of 26 first cousins, giving dozens of second cousins that are not a whole lot younger than me. I don't know a lot about what makes a Nash a Nash, though I could take a few guesses. But I'll be there and I'll belong like I belong in no other place in the world. I'll gravitate toward those who have the most in common with me, and those who make me laugh. I'll eventually find myself sitting next to someone whose name I forgot years ago, but it'll be ok because they will have forgotten my name as well, and that doesn't matter because regardless of what we remember, we remember the thing that matters the most: We belong. We'll sit silently through other people's conversation and somehow we will carve out a little home in the moment, where our words are not necessary.
We could leave or choose not to associate, but it would be futile because everyone knows when a Nash is a Nash.
I felt at home tonight at our Thanksgiving Love Feast. And, I'll be honest with you, a little uncomfortable. I'm uncomfortable with change and nothing exposes and exploits change more than an holiday gathering. The line was all jacked up. There were three lanes of traffic flowing into one, and this just isn't how it should be. There's supposed to be a long line form through the hallways and it should be neat and orderly with people waiting their turn. There were people I didn't know and many more I did but whose name I've forgotten long ago.
I'm getting cranky in my extended years.
But home is home, so what are you going to do? I think Anne Lamott probably said something about the great thing about churches and families are that when you show up, they are required to let you in. It's an unwritten law.
And this is what I feel about UBC. It's rarely the best, jacked up in many ways, but it's my people. And my people are good people, even if they don't know how the line is supposed to work.