I’m going to go back to what I love during this Lenten Season…taking photos and highlighting the beauty in the everyday, the sacredness of all that is around us, and in doing so, finding God in his creation.
I’ll be using Diana Butler Bass’ Grounded: Forty Day Devotional as a guide. I hope you’ll join me on this 40 day journey back to Immanuel, God with us.
“Throughout Jewish history, marriage has been understood as sacred, and the [homes we make are] expected to be governed by harmony. This ideal is expressed in the Hebrew term shalom bayit, meaning ‘peace in the home.’ Shalom bayit signifies completeness or wholeness achieved through nurture, respect, and chesed (‘loving kindness’). Thus, the home is the place of most intimate fulfillment . . . a sanctuary of God’s presence.” (Grounded, pp.177–178)
Having a house doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will have a home. Things may look inviting from the outside, but could be sorely lacking inside. There are those of us who are glad that our walls can’t talk. Would the stories they tell be full of love and laughter, or tales of sorrow and loneliness? What would they say about the way we have cultivated home?
Home most often isn’t a place at all. Home is a state of being, a sanctuary of God’s presence. It is something we cultivate and carry with us, wherever we go and whoever we are with, even if we have chosen to do so while remaining single.
Shalom bayit, peace in the home, is what we are to nurture with our families, our friends, and whosoever enters the space we call home. We inhabit the holy, God woven into the tapestry around us, his home, our home.
“Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.” Tad Williams
“Bless this house and those within
Bless our giving and receiving
Bless our words and conversation
Bless our hands and recreation
Bless our sowing and our growing
Bless our coming and our going
Bless all who enter and depart
Bless this house, your peace impart”
Prayer by Helen Mary, 1927
published on Faith & Worship