Here at The Warming House the weather is crisp and cool, drizzly rain is falling, and gentle rumbles of thunder roll across the sky. It’s the perfect day for this excerpt from Leaves of Gold written by its editors (copyright 1938; Brownlow Publishing Company).
“Civilization had its beginning around an open fire. Here at its warmth gathered the family group to find safety, comfort, and companionship. Trace the origin of our word fireplace and you will find it definitely related to the Latin word focus. There is the explanation of what home has always meant; for home is the center of life – no mere residence of the body but the axis of the heart; the place where affections develop themselves, where children love and learn, where two toil together to make life a blessing.
To picture in a word the depths of want, we say of a man that he is homeless. True, life is a journey, and we are all on a pilgrimage. But when distance has lost its enchantment and the ardor for adventure has cooled, when danger has been bravely faced and wonder satiated, hearts long for a resting place and find in the ruddy glows of the hearth-fire “the charm from the skies” that hallows life and gives refuge to man’s tired soul.”
We all need a place – a home – a refuge. One of my greatest desires is for the environment in my home to be a refuge or sanctuary for my family’s (and guest’s) tired souls. A home where family members find unconditional love, comfort, safety, encouragement, compassion, peace, community, and rest is also a place where families can learn, make mistakes, be challenged, and experience growth together. The world outside is tough and often hurts us. This place – my home – needs to be different. Sometimes that isn’t easy to accomplish – and we don’t always do it right. But sanctuary/refuge is what I yearn to give my family in this place. It is an ardent goal.
That desire and goal are also at the heart of The Warming House. I know that some of you don’t have homes that are a refuge, and that knowledge hurts my heart. I want this to be a “home” and place of sanctuary for you – weary traveler. In this place, I want the environment to contain the same things – including the learning and growth we experience together.
One of the cool things about blogging is that I get to see the nations my Warming House guests come from. I want you to know that I see you out there – those of you from Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Mozambique, the U.S., India, Canada, Russia, the Philippines, Uganda, the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, Latvia, Serbia and more. You matter to me. When I see your presence at The Warming House, I thank God for each heart he entrusts to me for that moment – and I find myself wondering about you and what life is like in your home across the world.
This blog is not meant to be about me. It’s about the greatness of God and his ways. I do it for him and for you. My strong belief is that if this blog does not bring something positive to someone else’s life, it isn’t worth writing. I would love to hear from you. Let me know a little about you and what topics or issues you would like me to address here. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, in the comments section of this blog, or on my facebook page (see sidebar).
I think we’ll build a fire in our fireplace today - the first one of the season. As I listen to it sizzle and crack, get lost in watching the dancing flames, and cozy up to its warmth, I’ll be thinking of you . . . and I’ll be thinking of my precious son and daughter who are many miles from home at college right now. It comforts me to know that even though we’re apart, they carry the sweetness of “home” inside of them.
Friends, let’s keep the homefires burning! Our families deserve it – and need it.
Because families are worth fighting for . . .