I wrote a song many years ago called “Home”, one of the lyrics read:

Home is more than just four walls with a view

Home’s that special place with just me and you,

Home is more than just some pictures on the wall

Homes the sound that your heart makes when I call

I call you home…

I’m in Oklahoma as I write this, Oklahoma is where I was born, its where my remaining sibling and only parent lives, my blood relatives are mostly here…so in the natural world Oklahoma is “home”…

There will always be a portion of my heart here, its where I was raised, where a lot of my wiring and foundations were established, there is the natural Irish/Cherokee/Germanic/French etc, et al…family history and genealogy here, and coming here always reminds me deeply of my connection to the family of man…but is it home?

Where is home? The poet says you can never go home, does that mean you have changed or has home changed?

Then there’s the human condition, where the plates shift and major upheaval is thrust upon you from those who used to be “home”…things like divorce, betrayal, death of someone so close their breath was your skin, or maybe you are like me where its a mix of those events and now the deafening reality that my kids (who were my home for the last 28 years) are not where I left them…everyone has gone out into the world to create their own “home” as it should be.

So now how do I define “home”?

Certainly not four walls with a view, and now unfortunately as well, home is not the sound that someone else’s heart makes to call me to a place of safety and comfort, and that level of silence almost drowns out the other silence of no longer hearing “Dad I’m home”…

So sheepishly like a turtle out of its shell I feel both homeless and naked…vulnerable to silence in a way I’ve never been…

Because the silence is so loud I am redefining “home”, and one of the headlights shining into my deer-in-the-road awareness is the reality that “safe” isn’t all its cracked up to be…

“How has being safe and responsible kept you from the life you dreamed of?”-Gene Strite

The Lord told Abraham to leave his fathers house and go to a land that God would show him, and he went out not knowing where he was going…it must have looked really strange.

There’s Abraham loading up the uhaul with his stuff, his wife, and getting ready to head out, the people all around him ask “where ya going Abe?’…”Umm…don’t know all I know is I can no longer stay here, God has something for me…” “Really what’s He got for you there that He can’t do for you here? And whats the plan Abe?”….”Did you pack a map?”

That’s the really scary part of going out, there are no maps, you make the map as you go.

This is a really important point for people who like safe, secure and consistent, there is no map, there is a really strong possibility you may get lost…but if you have no map, how will you ever know if you’re lost?, especially since you don’t know exactly where you’re going to end up?

This reality of a map-less journey has incredible impact on us who have a history of not expressing or knowing what we truly want, it has the power to paralyze us into inactivity and passivity, expecting God to give us “Great things” because after all God is good, if we just hang out and wait long enough all our dreams will come true, its the “waiting on Superman” syndrome…but here’s the problem…

…waiting on God to do great things for you when He has told you to “get out” “leave” the safe/secure/and looking responsible, is really…well…honestly…its rebellion.


I’ve always defined rebellion as some kind of angry action of independence, rebellion is like Korah challenging Moses, but that’s not the only way God defines rebellion, He talks about Israel asking for “food of their fancy”, in other words they wanted something they had developed a taste for that was not available on the journey…

The really tragic judgment that fell on those rebels was simply this:

“Therefore their days He consumed in futility, And their years in fear” (Psalm 78)

Wow! It wasn’t that the earth opened up, the judgment was they just kept doing business as usual everyday, always expecting the promised land over the next hill, the check in the mail, the knight in shining armor, the lottery ticket, the revival to fall like fire and what actually ended up happening was…well…nothing.

Nothing and fear…which is just the reality in the back of your mind saying “what if the check doesn’t show up, what if they never understand and appreciate me, what if it doesn’t work out?

That sounds…like one of the worse judgments ever written and its all because of rebellion.

So here’s my new definition of home:

Home is where my treasure is, its where God is leading me, but mostly its that free falling sense of following Him.

That means its not a place, its not really people anymore, because people cannot control me or make me happy. Home in the Abrahamic sense is a journey, and sometimes you don’t actually own the real estate of your promise until your wife dies and you bury the past…yuck! (Abraham never owned anything in Canaan until he bought a cave to bury Sarah in, so her death was a turning point in his ownership of the promise)

I’m not sure I like my new definition, but I know this much, I know where I cannot stay, and the familiar fancy food I’ve always enjoyed, the things that were a major part of my personal culture might not make the journey, as a matter of fact A LOT of what was familiar and favorite is not going to get into the promised land.

So home is not familiar…its not geography…its not safe and predictable…

Home is dangerous, exciting, and risky, home is where God is taking us as long as we don’t insist on having our favorite dish (cooked in the house of slavery) given to us when we demand it.

“These all went out looking for a city whose builder and maker was God…

I do have to make a point about the song “Home” and the nature of communion between two souls:

I believe it is one of Gods primary designs that we experience security and safety in the eyes of other people in particular our spouses, covenant is Gods map for intimacy and is designed to protect powerful people by defining the boundaries of value we have for each other.

But many times we redefine covenant to be contractual and demanding rather than a journey of discovery, covenant has the potential to become one-sided and abused especially when the value system centers on only one side of the covenant, the best definition I’ve heard of “enabling” is when I care more about your problem than you do.

God has designed our world to run on the rails of covenant because He wants us equally powerful…think about that for a moment, God wants you powerful even in your relationship with Him, that’s why He requires faith to have actions, actions put a demand on another’s behavior that words cannot, God loves that from you.

This dynamic becomes especially critical in the most intimate of relationships and anything that requires more than a surface level of knowing others, if you want to grow as a person in covenant with others you will be required to take risks…unfortunately the reality of risk “feels” greater in this arena than we like to admit, and most of us react to risk by retreating into “safe”…

Many times when we get here we like to default to predictable ways of relating to each other, (which feels safe but unfortunately is dishonest, we fail to tell each other the naked truth because it requires us to all be powerful and that’s just not normal) and tragically we probably will end our days in futility and fear because God doesn’t simply call us to leave physical geography…

…an entire realm of Gods call on us requires us to leave emotional geography as well, and for that journey we have to risk reaching out and being rejected or not knowing who/what/how the land will look…there are no guarantees, but there is also no other way…

It is here we must leave the familiar land of our fathers and get out into emotional landscapes we have never been in before…and it will taste completely different than those fancy foods we crave…

So you can risk loving, make changes in yourself to explore new country…or you could just stay safe, keep doing life in your favorite way, only eating the fancy dishes learned in Egyptian slavery…

let me know how that works out for you…


There’s the dangerous way your eyes light up,

When I know you’re really mad.

But I know if I can make you laugh,

Then it won’t turn out all bad.

And the last one to bed

Has to kill the lights

That’s the way the game is played

Unless of course,

I get there first,

And you pretend

You’re not awake.

‘Cause Home is more than just four walls with a view

Home’s that special place with just me and you,

Home is more than just some pictures on the wall

Homes the sound that your heart makes when I call

I call you home…

Sometimes its us

Sometimes its not,

But one and one did not make two

I can’t recall if you found me

Or babe did I find you?

You laugh when I cry

I cry when you laugh,

And there’s always in-between

You tell me words

I’ve never heard

And I know just what you mean,

‘Cause Home is more than just four walls with a view

Home’s that special place with just me and you,

Home is more than just some pictures on the wall

Homes the sound that your heart makes when I call

I call you home…

-Mark Pixley (unpublished work)