A home begins life as a blank canvas of walls ceilings and floors, room upon room of precise measure, angles and architraves, plaster, brick, wood and glass.
Beautifully rendered surfaces effortlessly hide the strength of the solid foundation within and yet home is more than a design of rooms and things. Home becomes the unacknowledged witness to the raggedness of our living breathing humanity.
These floors know the first tentative steps of infancy, the stampede of children’s play, the collapse of a grief racked body failing utterly.
Doors that observe good night kisses are the same that are slammed in fits of rage. Dark corners watch frustrated tears, hear desperate prayers.
A home endures much as it’s inhabitants sculpt it with their living. As life’s journey unravels a home is shaped. With human lives clutched close to heart, a home speaks a terrible and beautiful tale of humanities journey from and to home.
This home speaks of us.
A home is not merely a structure of wood, brick, stone and steel. A home speaks, its voice reflecting the terms of our occupation, reminding us of what we deem most important.
This world boasts its carnival of architecture, something for everyone and everything no matter the cost. Oppressive skylines crush the soul, hope struggling to breathe under the weight. Passion wains as the opulent man trades concern for apathy.
Our surroundings influence our thoughts more than we care to admit, shaping our identity, altering our perception of truth. Prone to wonder, the human heart is easily lead from its intended home to a lifeless counterfeit.
Presented with such choice, how then should one build? And to what pattern remain true?
Ever planning, the architects design is hidden to eyes that do not see, regardless the architecture portrays vividly who we might ideally be. Patterns, strength, intricate, unexpected.
How then to build with the majesty of a city on a hill and the humility of a swallows nest? A building poetic in its understated simplicity.
A home created to train hands for service, guiding hearts towards others.
A lamplight burning bright, a door open to those yet unknown.
Regret burns, the realisation of this great divorce made manifest. With heart bruised and hope fading, home is remembered once more.
Rebellion surrenders to remorse, repentance, and footsteps turn homeward. Eyes weary, hesitant.
Familiar recollections of home dimmed by the journey away are recalled. Glimpses of what once was and could be again.
In this place we are known, and we know it. This place of origin where we are allowed to simply be.
Every agenda surrendered to the will of the architect, every piece finds its appointed place. A single floor board with its individual grain and knot is not diminished when joined to the carpenter’s geometry.
Fixed in formation with iron nails, the single voice becomes a choir.
Steel tempered in the furnace graciously bends to a higher function. Vision giving strength its purpose.
Structured frames lend their support to others and together a home for the wondering prodigal is built. Freedom for many found in holy submission.
Some come with boldness and urgency sensing their inherited place. Others stoop on bended knee scarcely believing the invitation. Some bare wounds and enter with hesitant faltering hope. But it is the coming home that matters most.
This same final step shared by all. Acceptance is found within. Undeserved and scandalous favour.
It is in the dialog with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value and it is through great pain and sacrifice that this home is fashioned.
The table is set. The places long ago prepared are finally filled. Words always no, finally understood.
Returned prodigals from a disappointing land look around their home and remember who they really are. Wondering hearts have come home to be free.
- HS Conference 2012