“Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest in which she puts her young. Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my king and my God!” (Psalm 84:4)
When I was a junior in high school, I attended Girl’s State at the University of North Dakota, which meant being away from home for one week. As a farm girl, it was one of the first times I had ever been away for an extended time. I had no idea what I was in for — life on a college campus included multiple buildings, new faces and dorm living. I found myself extremely homesick and overwhelmed, to say the least. There were no cell phones offering a way to connect with my family or friends. I was alone and disconnected.
When Sunday came, I decided to find a church, and it was during Mass that I experienced a homecoming. I felt a sense of peace that made me realize everything would be alright, and it was this place — the church — that was my home. In an environment that appeared so new and overwhelming, I found comfort at church, and for that hour it was my home away from home.
Often I find myself in situations where I am out of my element, whether I am alone in a crowd because my views are different or disconnected because I don’t seem to have the same purpose as others. I’m reassured just like I was as a homesick teenager that God has a place for me in his heart.