On Being Homeward Bound - Part 2
Monday, Dec. 18, 2006, will be International Migrant Day - a day to remember and act on behalf of all who have journeyed from their home nations seeking a decent living for their families, seeking education and opportunity for the children, seeking an end to oppression and impoverishment. Dec. 18 will be a day to notice and appreciate migrant workers in our midst: to be thankful for those who pick and prepare our food, those who care for our children, those who bring talents and life-giving traditions from their countries to ours.
In preparation for International Migrant Day, Women's Division executive Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D., has prepared a series of meditations entitled, "On Being Homeward Bound." You are encouraged to read one each day from Monday, Dec. 11 through Saturday, Dec. 16. Throughout the week, begin to think how you will mark International Migrant Day. Sunday, Dec. 17, review all the meditations, reading them as a whole. Offer your plan to God in prayer. Monday, Dec. 18, act.
Genetically Programmed for Homesickness
by GLORY E. DHARMARAJ, Ph.D.*
Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
• Psalm 84:5
Catching glimpses of wholeness in the midst of fragmented lives is the mysterious call of the soul. Frederick Buechner in his book, Longing for Home: Recollections and Reflections, says:
"We carry inside us a vision of wholeness that we sense is our true home that beckons us."
This is a deep call for waiting, searching and picking up the soul that is often left behind in the shuffle and busyness of our lives.
Rainer Maria Rilke, a German poet, in one of his Love Poems to God, names a similar yearning. Mr. Rilke identifies the fathomless feeling one experiences in times of hurried loneliness and management of distractions, and links it to the eternal hunger of the human soul for God. He names God "the great homesickness we could never shake off."
This homesickness is the soul's communication to the rest of our being - its drumbeat toward God, its creator. It is a desire to be fully present to God in whose image we are made. The mystery and immensity of a human being made in the image of God is awesome. It shatters our blind folders.
My neighbor and I are made in the shared image of God. What an awesome thought!
In 2 Corinthians 3:18, St. Paul says:
…all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another…
We are genetically programmed for homesickness. This hole in the soul cannot be satisfied by the pre-fabricated home comforts and privatized solutions that are widely advertised. From within the depths of our personhood, the human heart cries out - in longing of love - to God to restore it to its true home.
Let us pray:
Our God, who is "the great homesickness we could never shake off," enable us to see the majestic wholeness for which you have made us. Our hearts long to be restored to their true home. May we be found faithful in the awesome reality that we are all created in your image. Amen.