what home means now: new definitions to consider during the outbreak of covid-19

Jennifer Camp
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Jennifer Camp, co-founder of  Gather Ministries, and author of  Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both  Facebook  and  Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.

The world is shaking. And we feel it. New patterns of living and moving, thinking and speaking. As the COVID-19 global pandemic shuts businesses and schools, recreation areas and churches, we are left with the question: to what will we turn for community, for comfort, for truth? In what new ways will we spend our time? How will we confront our idols? How will we cope?

While much of us shelter in place, not all of us are able to stay home. Physicians and teachers, delivery drivers and food service workers and so many more people are not staying home. Working or not, in your home or someplace else, each of is feeling vulnerable. A bit out of sorts. Discombobulated. Not quite the way they did before. 

The world has always been dangerous. Never safe. Never peace-filled. But this reality, for the world as a whole, feels impossible to ignore now.

So, in this new landscape, we have a question to answer. And that answer is unique to each of us: What now, is your truth? To what and to whom do you turn? What do you call home?

While many of us are having to stay, physically, at home, and then some of us cannot, how is your heart? How is your mind? To what is your mind turning? To whom does your heart run? 

Will you spend a few moments today–this week–considering where you are looking to find hope, meaning, comfort, strength? And as you look for these things, what does that look like? In the morning, in the evening, in the moments of being in this space, alone or with other people you live? How are you carrying on? Who are you, at home?

For the Loop Poetry Project this week, consider the word “home.” What does it mean for you? Yes, it is a physical space, and helpful to ponder as you write–describing the physical space where you are, with details of sense (what you see, smell, touch, hear, taste) around you. But you might want to consider other elements of home–what home means to your heart–what your heart is crying out for now, and the ideas or memories that fill your mind when you think of home. Let your imagination run. 

Home can be more than what exists within walls. How would your heart describe “home”, versus your mind versus your imagination?

I can’t wait to read what you share. Your ideas–your words–offer us another way to think and feel and see. And we are hungry for that now. But don’t worry about that, at first. Most importantly, and always as a beginning, write what is true to you. So, write about “home.” 

And if you feel like sharing your ideas, your notes, or even your poem, please do here, or on social media, using the hashtag #looppoetryproject. And, as always, consider joining the wonderful women over at the private Facebook group. We would love to join with you, encouraging you as you trust your heart.

bless you, dear ones,

jennifer

Is Home a Memory

I have awakened from a dream and again,
the idea of home is pressed upon me, 
memories, really
of sisters sleeping, 
three wooden beds side by side,
a static scene so different from what
you show me in the wild rustling of dry grasses
as we run, our young feet never tiring

and I think this is home,
the merriment that comes from safety
and freedom, and I am recognizing
home is not an age.

And you pull me out of the scene into
another one, the four of us in some heavenly place
where you chased me to the ends of the earth
my heart beating hard and long, 
through mazes of shadow
(I felt I had to prove: I could belong to you)

and now here we are,
me in my middle-age and yet ageless 
and the three of you 
impossibly one
to make the impossible my home, saying yes
again and again to what the three of you 
have together.

-jennifer j. camp

This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com

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About Jennifer Camp

Jennifer Camp, co-founder of  Gather Ministries, and author of  Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both  Facebook  and  Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.