November 2019

The saying goes, ‘Home is where the heart is’.

In a couple of days I am returning to the land of my birth and formation as a person, the place where I received my education and where I spent the vast majority of my working life, the place where I served in the military and where I got married and where my three children were born, and where my son rests in the African soil until we meet again at the resurrection. My parents are still there, and a sister.

I told someone today that I was going to South Africa and they looked at me with a very concerned expression, asking if I was coming back. I am very pleased that there is at least one person who is worried at the thought of me leaving and not returning. I told them I had to come back as my dog and cat will still be here. Yes I know, Olivia and my girls as well. In the immortal words of the Terminator, ‘I’ll be back’, the Bishop told me I had to.

It’s raised for me this interesting question, where is my heart’s home? Obviously, there is a part of me which will be forever African, but my heart is very much at rest here in the UK. In case you think I have forgotten my family, I haven’t, on a profound level I feel at home wherever my family is, more especially where-ever Olivia is. Maybe it would be true to say that wherever our hearts have found rest and security is home. In this sense we can be at home in a number of places.

As Christians we believe we have a spiritual home, finding rest and meaning in God’s presence. This manifests in many ways; I feel at home in churches where the members are seeking intimacy with God (not always the case), I feel at home among people who honour Jesus, I feel at home where the Holy Spirit is allowed freedom, and I know that I have a heavenly home to go to when I die.

Your heart is precious and it deserves to find homes where it is valued and cherished. I believe that the safest place, and where we are most cherished, is in God. He made us with care and wonder, He loves us unconditionally, He wants to make space for our hearts to rest, He wants to be allowed to walk this life in cooperation with us.

My heart has a few homes, but it would be true to say that the place where my heart has been the safest and most valued is at home with God.

God bless as you discover more deeply what it means to have your heart at home in God.

Sala kahle (stay well)

Rev Stephen Harrison  

The Rectory, Church Lane

Leonard Stanley, Stonehouse.  GL10 3NP  

Tel: 07466 858975