This is 5 Minute Friday – and Lisa Jo invites me – and you – to bare it all in a 5 minute prompt on the word bare – to write about the word “home” “in shades of real and brave and unscripted” – which means it isn’t always pretty. I must admit, the competitor in me loves the 5 minute challenge. You remember how Roger Rabbit couldn’t resist responding, “Shave and a hair cut?” Well, writing prompts are like that to me. This week, Lisa Jo invites us to write about . . . Home
“I do” whispered between 2
And a home was born
Where one day 3 were gathered
In the great green room and a red balloon
Where cows jumped over the moon
And 3 became 4
And the little cowboy lassoed his imagination
Into a hero in boots
And 4 became 5
And giggles rippled over the story
Of Uncle Remus and the crabs boring a hole
Into the earth’s center creating the great flood
5 became 6
When the Benjamin bunnies ate lettuces leading to
Sophoric sleeps amidst danger stewing and risking flopsy slippers
6 became 7 where we didn’t just love to the moon
But to God’s beard
Night time sings of 10 in the Bed
Each little one said
Wrapped in blue cotton blankets
And unconditional love
Home read like a story book
Between little bears and their mama and daddy
Tis a gift
To be simple
To be free
Where we ought to be
I asked my bed-time chronicler and my saucy little one if they wanted me to sing the other night – quirky smiles crossed their faces as each laughed a sighing ‘No.” Home for them is still blue cotton blankets, excitement over favorite muffins and mom reminding them to brush their teeth, say their prayers and share their hearts, finish their homework, math with dad.
Home for my senior is a cage from which to break free. Muffins, blankets, mom saying anything are reduced value, comfortless, spurned. Sometimes home is a battlefield – one battling for independence – the other battling to life save. Sometimes one has to feel caged by the nest before they can soar.
Another son, he felt the same way, couldn’t wait to break free from this cage. Anything was better than home. Basic training built an appreciation for blue cotton blankets, mom’s sandwiches and hearty soups, a refreshing place, comforting, coffee in the pot, grace to grow, a place to find peace.
He gives his little brothers a hard time. The saucy one gives it back, “What – you’re 20 and living at home.”
The older brother, he smiles sheepishly, but knows he’s working, he’s saving, planning for college – and a career God put on his heart – recognizing that God put it on his heart.
The prodigal returned home, to receive grace and grow in it willingly.
Home is the launch pad for God’s plan.
A home built with love, faith and hope opens it doors in welcome, for growing, for things like forgiveness and refreshing, for launching to soar.
Home is painted, tiled, shuttered and aired with all kinds of sentences – some regretted, some held close, some God-inspired, some evidence of our human fraility, some railing, some beautiful loving, comforting – like a blue cotton blanket. Some best foregotten; some never to be forgotten.
Home leaves the door open for restoration like unconditional love leaves the heart open.
The son, who railed at the cage and returned home to grow in the refreshing of it, he leaves for tank training in a few weeks and deployment in October. The journey of what home has meant to him has been like the journey of a prayer answered.
This scripture has always been close to my heart – I guess God knew why:
“But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also judged Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD” (1 Samuel 7:17)