There is no place in the entire universe quite like home. Of all the places you can spend time there’s really only one place that captures your heart and mind like your home. Over the last year, I think most of us have probably spent more time in our homes than we could have previously imagined, and if I’m honest there have been times I’ve been ready to break out and go do something. But, I’ve also come to a deeper appreciation of home.
There’s just something beautiful about walking in the door and feeling completely at peace. You can kick off your shoes (and not worry about your feet stinking), let down your hair, throw on your old ratty sweats, and just be.
There’s a sense of peace that comes from the familiar sights, sounds, and smells of home. And I love that your home only provides that sense of peace, comfort, and familiarity for you and others in your family. It’s completely unique to you.
I recently came across the painting shown above called “The Little Street” by Johannes Vermeer. The 1658 oil on canvas painting portrays a scene across the street from Vermeer’s home in the city of Delft, Netherlands. The property on the right belonged to Vermeer’s aunt. It was a place he knew well, alive with history and memories. The three women working on the quiet street and the houses in the distance convey a sense of order and peace. For me, Vermeer’s rendering of a quaint dwelling, shown as a snapshot of an ordinary moment, touches on a common longing for home, for protection, and for shelter from the world’s troubles.
The day I saw Vermeer’s painting I read Psalm 91. The psalmist writes:
As for you, the one who lives in the shelter of the Most High, and resides in the protective shadow of the Sovereign One –
I say this about the Lord, my shelter and stronghold, my God in whom I trust-
He will certainly rescue you from the snare of the hunter and from the destructive plague.
He will shelter you with his wings; you will find safety under his wings.
His faithfulness is like a shield or protective wall.
Even in the midst of uncertainty, trials, and trouble the Father invites us to feel at home with Him. Yes, he provides shelter, a protective shadow, a shield, or protective wall, but perhaps even more moving to me is that the Father invites us to enter His presence as we enter our own home. With a sense of peace, comfort, and familiarity that allows us the freedom to relax, kick back, and simply be.
He invites us to sit in the doorway, as the woman shown in Vermeer’s painting, and to soak in the warm sunshine of His presence. To breathe in the smells of home and breathe out the stress of the world outside.
Father, may we enter into your presence today in the same way we walk into our homes after a long trip. With a sense of peace and belonging and the knowledge that we can be fully and completely ourselves and you welcome us with open arms. May we embrace your invitation to trust in you as our shelter and stronghold. Hold us in your presence. Amen.