This is a hard week and it hit me unexpectedly. Three months after moving here (which I’m generally happy about) all I want to do is go home.
I know a big piece of it is that this church community still feels strange and my old one fit me like a second skin. There I “knew and was known” and here I talk to people every week with whom I’ve spoken before but whose names I cannot remember.
Holy Week is always a bit hard anyway. It’s supposed to be and because of its place in my personal history it is doubly so for me. Several years ago it was during Lent that I returned to the Lord and to the church after nearly a decade in the wilderness and it was during the Great Vigil that is the culmination of Holy Week that I publicly bore witness to that return by reaffirming my baptismal and confirmation vows. Every year that history plays in the back of my mind as we go through the liturgy together and I am strengthened. I miss that.
Since we’ve been married we’ve developed a tradition of having a feast on Easter Day. We invite all kinds of people- not just churchgoers, but family, neighbors and friends and celebrate together. We’ll be doing that here too, and the people we’ve invited have the potential to become friends but we don’t yet have a level of heart sharing with them. It will be fun- a party usually is- but that aspect of togetherness will be missing.
I could spiritualize these feelings and think about how as believers we are homesick for heaven (and those kinds of thoughts have crossed my mind) but that would be to deny the very human reality of my homesickness.
I’m not longing for heaven. I’m missing very real people with whom I have relationships.
Pearly gates aren’t in my mind’s eye- I want the faded brasses and tobacco leaf carved pews of my church.
I want the slightly uncomfortable feeling of being hugged by the huggers and the little dramas that we all partake in and that are part of our common life.
I want to gather with my mom friends while the children dig in the sand in the park, and try to figure out what we’re all doing here!
I expect some of those things will come up here in time- the Lord knows I need them- but I’m lonely and homesick and struggle today and someday seems a long time off.
Pray for me, won’t you? It’s hard to parent with grace when I’m feeling empty…
I’ll walk this Holy Week one day at a time, snuggle Jack frequently and cry if I need to…it’s OK