In Mitch Albom’s Have A Little Faith, there’s this page entitled From a Sermon by the Reb, 1981. It is an interesting piece that will give us (I certainly did) pause to reflect. Here it goes:
“A militarychaplain told me the following story:
“A soldier’s little girl, whose father was being moved to a distant post, was sitting at the airport among her family’s meager belongings.
“The girl was sleepy. She leaned against the packs and duffel bags.
“A lady came by, stopped, and patted her on the head.
“‘Poor child,’ she said. ‘You haven’t got a home.’
“The child looked up in surprise.
” ‘But we do have a home,’ she said. ‘We just don’t have a house to put it in.’ “
Some people own mansions with large rooms, individual toilet & baths with bath tubs, walk-in closets, receiving areas that serve as anterooms to bedrooms, wide yards, swimming pool, with dens, music rooms, playrooms, all the bell and whistles. But look at the family living there…they hardly spend time together. They don’t have meals together. They don’t watch television together. There are even days where they don’t see each other. They don’t play together. They don’t laugh or cry together.
That’s not a home. Homes are not measured by the size of the dwelling place, or floor area, or lot area. Homes are where people love one another, though sometimes they get on each other’s nerves. Homes are where the people cuddle up on rainy nights…share a bowl of chips or popcorn while watching a DVD movie…clean the house together…do their chores with the occasional banter…the seasonal cold does its rounds on each family member due to their proximity, and so many other times shared. When a family member is away on a trip or attending an occasion where the rest of family isn’t supposed to attend; he/she is missed by those left behind.
It’s not a perfect setup. There will be times of tension…tempers flare up….times of strained silence…a necessary question is asked…the required answer is given. There are times when people get into disagreements…arguments. These negative things happen because people are different. But their difference does not prevent them from loving each other, and making a life together. Because all of these…both the good and the bad…are parts of the life that is shared. And in the sharing, we bring a part of us into the togetherness. This togetherness is where the heart is…where the home is.