Total Pageviews

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Bing Crosby Holiday

Bing Crosby sang hope-filled songs about home and even grew the nostalgia into a hit film, White Christmas. But, anthropologists tell us that home is not only place, but it is also about kinship. It is about having both a place in time as well as enjoying a psychological bonding in familial relationships. Unfortunately, since the 1960s - the dawn of the commercial jet age, Americans have progressively lost a personal sense of their family’s homestead, kinship and homeland. The Boeing 747, then later the computer, Internet and digital ages jettisoned us into a world of transience and future shock. Jobs, careers, people, places, houses, apartments, knowledge and things now move through our lives at an alarming rate. Sinking roots into one place is no accident that many find difficult to achieve.

More and more, Americans are suffering from emotional homelessness and in some cases physical as well. Fr. Rolheiser in his book, Against an Infinite Horizon states, “When we have no place to identify with, no roots to drink from, no tree trunk to give us clear direction, it is no accident that on any given day we can sincerely wonder who we really are, what our values are … and which of our seeming multiple personalities is our true one. From lack of home we suffer schizophrenia, dislocation, and much loneliness, both psychologically and morally. “

In the 21st century, still many long for the fulfillment of Bing Crosby’s song “I’ll be home for Christmas” because it speaks to their roots. The reality is that most will never be mentally home for the Holidays (because of arguments and discord) – and others still will never be really home because of actual physical homelessness. In either case, mental or physical, the end result is the same – loneliness, depression, anxiety and restlessness.

What is the good news in all this? Is there any? Most definitely, yes! It is our very homeless condition that God uses to call us to Himself. Our roots, our homeland and the rest that we seek in our agitated aloneness are ultimately found when in our desolation we are filled by being in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” Twelve distinct times our Lord Jesus said, "I Am," with reference to Himself. He said, “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life, I am the resurrection, Before Abraham I am, I am the bread of life, I am the light, I am from above …” How much more do we need to hear? Jesus is clearly telling each of us, "Come to me" (to no one else and nothing else) because, “I am your home.”

Please scroll down and vote in the polls. Your opinion counts!
HIA is on Holidays and returns to publishing on Monday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts ... In a way I think you are saying the more we “need” a physical home (McMansions, etc.) the more homeless our souls are. Yesterday, I was watching a show on TV about small spaces where people were fitting what used to constitute an entire house, Living Room, Dining room, Bedroom, Kitchen, Family Room, et. al, into small apartments (under 500 sq. ft) in New York. The most interesting part was that the more they got rid of stuff and reduced their lives to bare necessities in order to fit their space, the happier they seemed to be, regardless of their level of income. So less room for material goods seems to equal more peace and room for God?
Happy Thanksgiving!