where: seeking a place where we can belong #FMF

where - seeking a place where we can belong @poetryjoy.com

We all need to belong somewhere. It’s an innate desire from infancy. We crave a place where we feel safe and secure. And we make our home with loved ones, family and friends, plus groups, clubs, community and causes that are dear to our hearts.

This blog is one of my safe places on the internet. Here I can gather with fellow poets, writers and friends. It feels like my creative family. A source of support and encouragement, help and peace. A haven I miss when illness keeps me from staying connected with you all.

I’m not well enough to get to church, and haven’t been for years, so my spiritual home isn’t a building or place where people physically gather. Instead, church, in the sense of being the Body of Christ, is everywhere and nowhere in particular as well. I’m in touch with fellow believers around the world, who have a diverse range of expressions of faith, like I do myself.

We gather on the internet and via email. Our service to one another is to show love and care, have conversations, enrich thought, offer a listening ear and pray for one another’s needs. It’s a gift I am truly thankful for.

I wonder, where is the place you feel most at home? Who is your tribe, your people, your comfort zone? Those questions can be tricky to answer, can’t they? Depending on our circumstances and stage of life. So many people feel isolated, lost and alone, with no particular base and reference point.

Maybe they’ve become displaced, lost the physical home they knew before or lost the loved ones who anchored them there. Even if our circumstances differ, we can still feel fractured and out of sync with others at times. Such thoughts inspired the poem below.

Belonging

sense of belonging:
making sense of who we are
where we have come from
where we are journeying to
where we will make our home

we easily lose
our bearings and direction
give our hearts
to those who scorn or break them
resist acts of affection

perhaps we could
view life in another way
spiritually
note how we are created
to always seek after God

we see how he longs
wants us to be yearning
to be longing
a present continuous
act of obedience, faith

there’s nothing better
than to share our lives with God
come empty, dry
desiring to be filled
as his fountain rains on us
© joylenton

I’m happy to belong to the fabulous five-minute-friday community where we share our words inspired by a prompt. This week’s creative instigator word is “where”. You can join in here and read the great variety of posts being shared.  🙂

home: our universal ache and longing to belong

home-our-universal-ache-and-longing-to-belong-pj

 

Home is where the heart is, our place of safety, solace and security—or at least it could and should be. Though for many, home is far from a haven. It can often be the very place they long to escape from.

Right from our earliest memories, home remains a place we are either joined together by strong ties of deep love and affection, or feel a sense of disconnection to. Because not all of us are loved well or treated right in our formative years. Not all of us desire to stay or return to where we began our days.

It is natural to develop independence and want to spread our wings when we get to a certain age, but some of us have an inner longing to flee a place where we don’t feel cherished, a home where we don’t seem to fit in or truly belong, a need for a different shelter of sorts.

That’s why God offers us all an eternal Home, a place of grace and loving kindness, a haven of perfect love and peace, an abiding sense of safety and stability and an anchor for the soul of true acceptance and rest. We have a taste of its beauty in this world and glimpses of its magnificence to come.

Meanwhile, His arms are all the safe place and shelter we seek. His love is unconditional, overwhelming and free. His mercy and grace help us to make changes in how we perceive our lives and His healing touch helps us to forgive and move forward again.

Here are 3 aspects of home in 140 characters or less….

twittering-tales-trainwindow

 

He feels a tug to look back

calling him homeward

His eyes realise how vast

the universe can be

He aches to stay as he

breaks the cord to leave

(139 characters)

 

A window seat is a way

to see more clearly, get

a fresh perspective, because

home is anywhere at all

No more or less than

a place to lay his head

(140 characters)

 

“Are you ready for this?

He nods, gulps back tears, turns to take another look outside, where home shrinks small while he faces new horizons. (140 characters)

The thoughts, poems and prose above, were inspired by my creative friend, Kat Myrman,  and this week’s ‘Twittering Tales’ photo prompt she has provided. Just click on the link to read more. You’re warmly welcome to  join in if you’d like to.

What does the word ‘home’ conjure up for you?

Do you feel ready to take a step of faith toward the next thing God has planned for you? 

Seeking sanctuary

We all need a safe place to vent. Let off steam. Be ourselves, warts and all.

Be real and authentic in sharing life and faith issues.

Consider the question, “Is there room for my tears here?” being asked by Diana Trautwein this week.

We read in the shortest verse in Scripture, “Jesus wept”  ~ John 11:35 Succinct words speaking volumes. He was unafraid to be authentically open and human. Giving us a pattern for being fully human and fully alive unto God.

Our tears are a soul’s lament. Reminder of our weakness, frailty and humanity.

If we try to keep them hidden they still find  a way to rise, unbidden, to the surface.

Revealing deep emotion at the core ~ joy, pain, vulnerability, sadness and grief. The very heart of who we are.

Though we find ways to choke them down and bid them drown in their inner stream.

In the unraveling of life, thought and years, we soon discover our safety and security is found primarily in God alone.

As a body of believers in Christ we are joined by links of love and shared endeavour in the fight of faith.

We’re all invited to enter in, embrace God’s gift of grace seen in Jesus’ suffering, pain and loss for our sakes.

We’re welcomed to a place of love and acceptance. A hospital for the hurting ~ only some churches hide that pretty well.

I’m too weary and worn out to try to pretend I’ve ‘got it all together,’ and too desiring of being a voice for those who are hurting to stay silent in my small-corner obscurity.

Because in the end it comes down to how much we love and are loved.  How much we are willing to give to one another.

Make room in our own woundedness to walk the road with others who are weak and in pain. Be a sanctuary for the seeking, the saved and those sick in body, mind or heart. 

Weep with those who weep. Rejoice with all who rejoice. Lift and uphold each other in prayer. Come alongside and be Christ’s ambassadors in caring for all in need.

The poem below expresses my hopes about being part of the body of Christ, what I am currently experiencing as a member of some lovely supportive writing and friendship groups and the reflective, sharing ‘Living the Questions’ group over at Diana’s place.

Although this is the type of welcome we could (and probably should?) be extending to all our brothers and sisters in Christ.

‘Invitation’

Your tears ~ whether of joy or sorrow ~ will find a welcome here

Your questions and fears for tomorrow we too will share

Your faith journey and experiences in all their rich variety

serve to enrich and inform us of all we still can be

Your need for speaking out in a friendly space

can be met here in this ~ a safe and open place

Your desire to listen, reflect and ponder deeply

is found in this forum and sacred sanctuary

©JoyLenton2014

Sadly, many feel disappointed, discouraged, sidelined, ignored, bruised, hurt and wounded by church. Perhaps we forget we are all imperfect ‘works in progress’. This prayer may help. It was written in support of all wounded warriors.

There should always be room for tears ~ and laughter, joy, hand-holding, lifting up, coming alongside, praying, caring and sharing as we aim to be ‘Jesus with skin on’ for one another.

Joining here with Diana, Mel, Laura and Lyli

Where I’m from

Trying something new here today as I link up with the synchroblog over at sheloves.com where we share our heritage stories.

Here’s mine:

I am from..

I’m from hands made red scrubbing with Fairy soap, arms to elbow in suds, wringing, steaming, line-flapping, wind-dancing laundry blowing against my head

From mangle, squeezing out doll’s clothes, now you’ve caught your thumb, before ‘elf and safety was ever thought of or begun

I am from side-to-side dwelling, know each others’ business, doors ajar, lean over garden fences, see your neighbours’ faces and invade each others spaces

And Sunday roast in oven, larder heavy with home-made stuff,  jelly and custard, dripping on toast, sausage rolls, Christmas spiked ham, pickles and mustard

I am from roses abundant, catch petals in a jar, shake well with water, savour the smell with an “Aaah!”  From embracing cats, budgerigars, mice and rabbits and cleaning up after their dirty habits

I’m from chasing on the lawn to capture elusive dreams and butterflies, with hope, expectancy and angels floating in my eyes

I am from scratch and prickle horse-chestnut, making conkers, shaking and climbing trees whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own, though they belonged in woodland close to our home

I’m from blue smoke rising, swirling to choke breath out of a room, throw the fags, clink the glasses, toast the Queen, enjoy good times, drown our sorrows and link up for the dance of Auld Lang Syne

From Sunday afternoon snoozes, weekend outings to beach or countryside to admire the view and (hopefully) squeeze in a game or two

I’m from keep quiet at the table and sit up straight and always eat everything put on your plate

And I’m from working class and working hard from dawn to dusk, face lathered, razored, hair smoothed shiny as acorn husk

With dad’s shoes spit-polished and neatly pressed clothes, for no matter how lowly the job a man has to present well, as everyone knows

Mum’s middle class background and leanings shown in books she was reading and the superiority over what she thought or knew. And she wasn’t past pampering her face, leaving imprints of jammy red lipstick staining screwed up tissues in every place.

I’m from giving non church-going parents a rest by attending Sally Army Sunday school, singing, “Jesus loves me, this I know”, with them little realising this was the very best thing for me, as Truth would be rooted, dug deep, to bring life, grow fruit later and on to eternity

I am from East coast flatlands, fenlands, beaches and broads where holidaymakers stream in summer hordes; a cathedral city with cobbled streets, theatres, museums, castle on a hill, parks to play in and hide at will

And candy-floss fairs, sticky treacle pud and hot fried chips to grease and burn the lips. With Fanta, Corona, sherbet fountains, licorice laces and sweets bought to please, rot the teeth and grant parents some ease

I’m from marbles, hopscotch, skip and keep time, roller-skates, hula-hoops, pogo-sticks, reading and rhyme

With Jack Frost nipping inside the pane, hot water bottles, coal fires toasting shins and chestnuts, savouring the heat before we felt cold again

From leaving and cleaving elsewhere, going away and disappear, get a job, get a life, new husband, new wife, divorce, trouble and strife

Having twin sisterly sharing, squabbles, discipline, smacking, sitting legs dangling on chair where we sulked, wriggled impatient, until giggles erupted everywhere

There may not be too many precious mementoes to hang over my bed but I keep a select few tucked away in my head

Adult life meant starting anew when God claimed my heart at 17 years old.  And He’s been working diligently ever more behind the scenes to renew, repair and restore broken memories and dreams, weaving them into a tapestry beautiful to behold

*******

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Now you know even more about me!

There was much to reflect upon, as there always is when you’ve lived a longish life.

Do join in the synchroblog if you can. The template on sheloves.com is a guide but how you express it is up to you.

You don’t have to be poetic at all, that’s just the way I naturally lean.