Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Feeling at Home

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Feeling at Home

Article excerpt

IT was the summer of fifth grade, and I was away at camp. I was really homesick. I loved my family and knew they loved me, and I had always felt safe and happy at home. But camp was hundreds of miles away from home, and I wasn't sure that I liked being there! I wanted someplace that felt familiar. I wanted someone nearby who I knew really loved me. I wanted the comfort that comes when you feel at home.

Even so, I was very fortunate--I had never felt this uneasy insecurity before. Some children feel this way most, or all, of the time. They seldom feel secure or cherished. And as I think about those children now, I remember how glad I was that Lyn was one of my camp counselors. She always seemed willing to sit down and chat with me. In fact, once we got talking, three or four others would usually join our cozy talks. I don't remember what we talked about, but being around Lyn was like being at home.

Children need love. We know that we're supposed to love them, but as any parent, teacher (or camp counselor) can attest, it seems as though the times they need loving most are the times they seem the least lovable. If consistent, heartfelt love for children seems as difficult as it is necessary, it could be that we need a new perspective on love. It may help to think again of love as the love that John speaks of in his first Biblical letter when he says "God is love.

In daily life we may think of love as just an emotion that is selective. Such love can get tired or fade in spite of our best intentions--it isn't love we can rely on. Yet reliability and permanency of affection are what gives us the feeling of home.

And reliability and permanency are the nature of the love that Christ Jesus showed us. He showed us that love, true spiritual love, is far more than an emotion. It is the expression of God, who is divine Love. …

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