Spiritually Speaking: Where is your storm home? | Eden Prairie Opinion – SW News Media

Ive been thinking about having a storm home. Garrison Keillor tells a story about winter in Lake Wobegon. Each year, before the season of wind and snow really set in, students were assigned a storm home close to the school. This is where they would go if a serious snowstorm developed during the school day. That way they would be safe until the storm was over.

Some years ago in a scene too sad for words, the entire world saw a picture of a lifeless little boy lying in the sand on a Mediterranean shore, a casualty in the human tragedy unfolding in Europe and the Middle East. Countless frightened and displaced people were and are living life without a storm home.

At the same time when the subject of immigration and possibly welcoming refugees from places ravaged by war and violence, there are loud voices saying, Keep them out, We need high walls on our southern and northern borders, Close off our ports of entry to the mass of human suffering and You never know who those people are.

The Bible speaks frequently of storm homes, Gods provision in times of trouble: Noahs Ark, a whale for Jonah, a stable for Mary and Joseph, Egypt for the holy family when Herod ordered the execution of male children less than 2 years of age, the Lord Jesus himself for the disciples. The prophet Isaiah, in a powerful hymn of praise, refers to God as a shelter in the time of storm.

Throughout history, many religious movements have provided storm homes for the poor, the homeless, the sick and needy. Much of Christianitys missionary activity began with an orphanage, a clinic or a hospital. Countless inner city missions have been rescue centers for the homeless and destitute.

When it comes to strangers and those in distress Christians have clear instructions, Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it and Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Its hard to miss the point in these verses.

Im thinking there is yet another kind of storm home all of us need from time to time. It is possible to be up and out as well as down and out. We who have steady jobs, pension plans and medical coverage are not immune from the sudden storms of life. Illness, accidents, broken relationships and other tragedies are not limited to the poor. It is a fair question to ask, Where is my storm home?

For me, it is the fellowship of faithful friends. There are many friends to whom I know I can go when the storms of life are raging. At their best, faith communities (churches, mosques, synagogues, temples) are meant to be storm homes.

How about you? To whom would you go, in addition to family, if life completely tumbled in? I believe it is a specific grace to have an answer to that question.

Dr. Bernard E. Johnson shares this space with the Revs. Timothy A. Johnson, Rod Anderson and Trish Sullivan Vanni as well as spiritual writers Nanette Missahgi and Beryl Schewe. Spiritually Speaking appears weekly.

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Spiritually Speaking: Where is your storm home? | Eden Prairie Opinion - SW News Media

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