By Heather Allen-
When I reminisce about my childhood home I can practically smell the fresh baked, chocolate chip cookies. Running home from the bus, I could not wait to be at the kitchen table, even though an hour of piano practice followed. I am the quintessential homebody. I even opted out of Prom for a night relaxing with my favorite people, most of who were family members.
A few weeks ago, as I was prepping dinner, my son leaned over the discarded sweatshirt I had tossed on a kitchen chair. He sniffed unaware that I was watching him, a bemused smile on my face. He met my smile. “This smells like you mom.” My grin widened “What do I smell like?” “Home” he said, meeting my instantly teary eyes with a bright smile.
For over a year I have worked at wrapping my brain around Psalm 91 (NIV). Verse one says: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
My son could not have guessed the mystery he helped unravel in his casual comment. I pulled paper and pen and began listing adjectives that describe my ideal shelter. Security, protection from the elements, peace, warmth and unconditional acceptance topped my list.
My suitcase has seen more travel & dust than I could have imagined. If I had realized my belongings would stay in boxes these many years, perhaps I would have decided to travel lighter. Like the Israelites, I too have journeyed through a wilderness and seen God move on my behalf. The places where He rescued me have become altars of praise.
My security and peace came from what was familiar; physical objects attached to warm memories. That has slowly begun to change. The Lord is becoming my shelter. And when I think that the world is His & all its fullness, I am reminded that our ownership is nothing more than an illusion.
Making the Lord my dwelling place is walking in His presence. And that is where I am safest. Nearness to Him is protection and peace. This is an appealing thought for a homebody nomad. A home away from any home, one that never requires moving. I am accepted, loved, and chosen. I will hold on to Him tightly and let my grip on the rest, go.