As a child I remember moving into a new house. I was in 8th grade and I had lived in the same house on 84th Street most of my life until that time. When we arrived in the new house, something was missing. There had been a plaque upon the kitchen cabinet that stated, “Home is Where the Heart is.” It was artistically decorated and quite lovely. But it was missing from the new house. No matter where I looked, I could not find that plaque. So I replaced it. I made a new one in my little art studio in the basement. It was not perfectly printed, nor quite so artistically decorated, but it clearly represented what I thought was missing in our new home – a declaration of fact. I needed a place to hang my heart. (p.s. The picture to the right is done by Karen A. Goodman...not me :)
Now my childhood home did not have the heartbeat of God hammering the walls. In fact, there was much strife and discontent within and without those walls. My father was an unacknowledged alcoholic, and both parents were frequently fighting. My point however, is this – home is still where the heart is. Whether the heartbeat of the home is barely recognizable, disharmonic and stress inducing, or beating after God’s own heart, the home is where the heart is. It has long been so.
“Home is not where you live but where they understand you.” - Christian Morgenstern
Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Homesick in Heaven
Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence. It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts. It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule.
- Frederick W. Robertson
It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home. – Author Unknown
If the home really is where the heart is, isn’t it time we learn how to protect, nurture and heal the home? Isn’t it time that we learn how to fear the Lord, and learn what those commandments are that promise to make it well with us and our children forever? If home really is where the heart is, isn’t it time we learn how to guard our heart and ensure the wellspring of life that God offers (Proverbs 4:23)?
Strangely enough, that homemade plaque is still on the wall in my parents’ house despite several consecutive moves into new homes.