Anabelle and I are back in our house in Filinvest. It is a simple but a very beautiful house, lovingly designed by a good friend who has since passed away. It has a lot of doors and windows so that light and air flows freely throughout the whole house. It has a warm, welcoming and homey feel about it. Not a few friends have commented how peaceful and reassured they feel when they come to visit. I guess beyond the design and the structure, the living and the loving that happened in our house have also contributed to its unique feel and character.
Our sons know that there will always be a home they can come home to. Home may not be a place. It is really where the heart is. In this instance, however, home takes the shape and form of our house where they have allowed their hearts to rest from their struggles, to be vulnerable without being destroyed, to be weak to allow their strength to come back, to be foolish and not to be laughed at and out of the place. It is home. Even Jonathan and Jane already have fond memories of their favorite nooks and crannies in this house.
Our friends know that they are always welcome here: to share a meal and make the bonds that tie us even stronger, to drink coffee or wine and give physical dimensions to the warmth of the friendship that we share, to just visit to swap stories and relive the past that brought us together, to dream and share what else we can do together into the future. Over time, friends have become family in this house. And over time, family have become friends because of the time we shared in this house.
Family, friends and even strangers coming into out house will feel the peace and the love that have been nurtured there. If they come in peace and love, they will find that the peace and love they bring come back to them and multiplied many times over. If they come in pain and sorrow, they will find the peace and love to heal their wounds. If they come burdened by life’s vicissitudes, they will find at least the respite to face them again later. If they come in anger or with hatred (for I have hurt and disappointed people in my life), I pray the peace and love that resides in our house will cool the anger and melt the hatred.
‘Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.’