I’m looking for spaces that are a homecoming. I’m realizing it’s not easy to find places of true belonging and it’s even harder to be a person who offers it.
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want to belong, but I know many who want to disconnect, to distance, to separate and divide. Myself included. It seems antithetical but it’s actually the way we most often experience belonging- by separation.
I am a big fan of “me too” moments. It’s one of the reasons I feel most called to write about issues like mental illness, race, body image, and sexual abuse. There is a solidarity we experience when someone else has been through what we’ve gone through and that’s valuable and necessary. Knowing we are not alone is a gift we offer one another in the face of the vulgar and brutal world that seeks to devour all of the holy and beautiful places of redemption God has established.
I find solace in a suffering Jesus, knowing there is nothing I’ve endured that He doesn’t understand intimately. I could not love a God who remained distanced, impassively watching the world carry on without being with us in it. We find commonality and community in those moments when we feel understood, seen, and valued. When our experiences are validated and our personhood is treated like it matters. When we call out the Image of God present in one another.
When it feels like we have found our “people” it is easy to rest in that easy acquaintance that doesn’t cost us nearly as much as loving our enemies. What a ridiculous and scandalous commandment Jesus tasked us with! Doesn’t God know what those people are like? How wrong, how backward, how unlovable our enemies truly are? There is a Pharisee in us all that cries out, not them too, surely not them!