Saturday, January 24, 2015

"...Where Everybody Knows Your Name..."

 I am "carbon-dating" myself here but I know that some of you will remember the television show, Cheers.  Set in a Boston tavern, such unforgettable characters like Norm, Cliff, Sam, Coach and Woody, warmed the stools and served up "beverages".  Despite the hilarity of the show and the accumulation of Emmy awards, it is the theme song that has stuck with me for years.  "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name--and they're always glad you came..."

We live in such an itinerant society.  Gone are the days, for most people, where immediate and extended family lived in the same town--or at least within a few miles.  I remember when we relocated to Memphis (home of the multi-generational network) and new friends were inquiring about our move.  "Wow, you've moved around quite a bit!", was their sympathetic reply.  I didn't think it was abnormal; but, for those who had been born, raised, married, and carpooled in the same city all of their lives, I was quite the globetrotter.

The inestimable value of community and having a place to call home (or having a place to rest your soul that engenders that Cheers kind of sentiment) is especially meaningful for those "away from home".  Or perhaps for those whose own home is not a safe place, a loving place, a place where they can just be. 

Recently, Ann Voskamp re-posted a poignant piece by Sally Clarkson that points us to the importance of home.  Mrs. Clarkson says, "People have dwellings—apartments, houses, dorm rooms—but they do not have a sense of sanctuary, refuge, a harbor for their wandering souls, where life is preserved, protected, and cultivated so that the daily needs of their hearts and souls are satisfied."

As those who have been given the gift of a home--and a door that swings open--we are called to share that space.  It need not be decorated by Southern Living-touted artists or adorned with the latest in trendy bling.  Waterford and Lenox are not required.  We simply need to open the door.
"Indeed one of the glories of life is to craft a home that truly is a welcome to body, mind and soul -and the fulfillment of creating such a space is a deeply satisfying work of life," Clarkson goes on to say.  A haven that is built with trust, accented with laughter, and arranged with comfortable coziness is the House Beautiful.  

Take off your shoes and stay awhile.  

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