a home in my soul

a home in my soul.

I relate to this on so many levels today.

On the level of being busy, of things falling apart.

Of having plans and dreams and wanting them to be perfect, of spending too much time looking at pictures, reading articles of how it all “should” be.

Not how it really is.

The laundry, the dishes, the lists, the papers, the assignments, the projects, the aspirations.

But most of all, my perfectionism – of wanting everything to be the ultimate. To be perfectly done, fully thought-out, the complete experience.

Whether it is the hand-made valentine or the non-profit dreams that keep me up late into the night.

My soul, being restless. Most moments. Of knowing I want to spend more time with God, but getting lost in the day.

On having just enough wisdom to know where I want to be, but not enough to get me there.

But we never can, by ourselves anyway.

I want it all.

I choose all. But I must choose the ultimate ALL, first.

I know this, in my brain. But must make it a reality.

And then I came across this passage from Caryll Houselander, my muse, and it was like she pulled out the chair next to me, with a big loud echoing scrape across the floor, plopped down, set her chin in her hand, and gave me a long stare. And I realize that I’m not just on the wrong page. I’ve picked the wrong book. He just wants ME.

We all know persons who are exaggeratedly house-proud, who concentrate on the neatness, cleanliness, beauty of their house, to the exclusion of its comfort. Their house is not a home, nothing must ever be left about, out of place. To come in with muddy shoes is a crime; it is a crime to disarrange the cushions. In such a house one can neither work nor rest; one is never at home, because it is not a home.

There are many people who are ‘soul-proud’ in the same way. They spend their whole time cleaning up their soul, turning out the rubbish, dusting and polishing. Like the house-proud person, they become nervous, tired. There is nothing left in them to give, for they have wasted themselves on the silver, the curtains, the ornaments.

Christ wants to be at home in your soul. He will not go away and leave you if the house is chilly and uncomfortable; he loves you too much to leave you, but how often, how tragically often, he must say nowadays: ‘The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

Christ asks for a home in your soul, where he can be at rest with you, where he can talk easily to you, where you and he, alone together, can laugh and be silent and be delighted with one another.

All this may seem daring, but it is true; it is the meaning of the Incarnation.

Caryll Houselander, from A Child in Winter


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