“While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’” Matt. 12:46-50
Mother Teresa once said, “The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.” When we think of what it means to be Home, I think it’s safe to say all of us think of not just a physical place, but also the relationships that we have that make home, Home. For Mother Teresa, these relationships consisted of people outside of her blood family, mainly, the sick, forgotten and dying of her community. For Jesus, this includes anyone who does the will of his Father in Heaven, which would include his blood family as well as others outside of his blood family.
Nine and a half years ago, a pastor, his wife and their two daughters forever redefined the word “Home” for me when I lived in Somerset, Kentucky. This family welcomed me into their home when I was going through a difficult time in my life and did not distinguish me as different from their family. They gave me a place to stay including building a bedroom downstairs in their home for me, feeding me and making me part of their family—so much so that their daughters for years called me “Bubby” because they thought I was their actual older brother. I learned through this family that there is family that we are born into and also family that we get to choose.
It is a blessing for me to see in our homes that many of our residents, some of which have supportive families and others that don’t have any living blood relative, experience and sometimes refer to each other as family. All of us long to be connected to meaningful relationships in our lives that make us feel at “Home.” I’m thankful that I get to experience the blessing of watching residents build these relationships with other residents that expand their family circle and make them feel more at Home.