Then He went Home. ~ Mark 3:19
The verse above is a fragment from the readings this past Monday from Mark 3:7-19. It is not an unusual story in the life of Jesus. He was busy wandering around with his disciples healing many diseases of the crowds that pressed around him. Unclean spirits were shouting out proclaiming him as the Son of God, and he ordered them stop. Nothing unusual. Next, Jesus takes some of the disciples with him up the mountain and appoints twelve of them to be with him, to be sent out to proclaim the good news, and to cast out demons. He called them Apostles. Nothing unusual here, either. “Then he went home” the scripture says. The words practically jumped off the page. I need to ponder why they have.
The flu or a bad cold caught up with me this week. I usually am pretty immune to these, but not this time. I didn’t run fast enough or I ran too fast. Probably the latter. But now, I have pondering time. Who knew a pilgrimage was involved with these four words?
After the conference I attended a couple of weeks ago, I began re-reading Paula D’Arcy’s book – GIFT OF THE RED BIRD. This book speaks to me. Paula tells of her recovery from the death of her husband and infant daughter in a car accident. She was pregnant with another child at the time and both Paula and the unborn child survived. After she was somewhat emotionally and spiritually healed, she was asked to hold conferences, retreats, etc., to share her story with others. She had a frantic schedule but she continued until she finally came down with mono with which she was sick for eight or nine months. She had time to think about who she was created to be and what she was doing. Not all of her doing bubbled up from her deepest self in God but was what she thought she needed to do because she had been asked and the opportunity was there.
I don’t know why those four words from the Bible passage above had such an impact on me. Other translations don’t say the same. Some translations say that Jesus went into a house in his hometown. Those words really segue into another story, but they brought me up short and I have learned to pay attention to that. Maybe, coming home helps us to return, somehow, to our roots and to ourselves so we can remember who we really are. Jesus, in the story above, goes home when he finishes the day’s work. Maybe this returning, along with constant prayer, helps ground him in some way. Maybe it helps him remember who he is. Returning home in prayer grounds us. It is from this rest and time spent with God that we know what we are called to do. Going home appears to be more than a place to hang your hat and sleep.
I need to pay better attention, and I did get the picture. I have changed a thing or two and am in the process of re-evaluating some others. I could be out of touch with me – who am I now? Who is the person God created me to be for a time such as this? There are many opportunities to serve God, many opportunities to be Jesus’s hands and feet, and not all of them, by any means, have my name attached to them. Which ones do? Which ones bring me home? A friend called, today, to read a meditation to me from a couple of days ago. She worries about me. It said basically what I was hearing already. Pay Attention. Slow down. Rest. Find your deepest self.
Richard Foster says that coming to prayer is like coming home. “Nothing feels more right, more like what we are created to be and to do.”~ PRAYER, Finding the Hearts true home.