Home should be the safest place on earth. Sadly, in some homes, that‘s just not the case. Strife and domestic violence exists. I’ve been in those homes and felt the tension. I have upon occasion intervened and counseled a family through a difficult situation. Sadly and tragically, violence happens in the home. People are hurt wounded, beaten down and killed. There is emotional abuse and physical abuse. Some will die.
The statistics are staggering (click here). One third of all women and one-fourth of all men have been victims of some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. Every nine seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. In a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive 20,800 phone calls.
As I have reflected these days on Home, I have wanted to raise our thoughts, our vision, our hope to an often-unrealized ideal of what home could and should be. Through these reflections we may glimpse something to aspire to in our daily living. I see the phrase Domestic Violence and it bothers me. It’s an oxymoron to what home should be.
If someone who was living in an abusive, violent and toxic house reads days 1-35 of this journey, they may laugh in disbelief or cry. To them, the concept of Home as I have described it is completely foreign to them. I want to change that.
We do not live in a perfect world. As long as there are people there will be crime, greed, envy and hatred. People will do what they can to gain things and power. However there is a better way to live. I’ve touched on it in previous posts but I’d like to suggest that a central key to experiencing home in the highest and most noble possible way is to focus on living not for what you want, living for your own self interest, but rather living for the betterment of others. Most of us experience glimpses of living selfless. It feels good. We just need more practice! Living with an outward focus to serve, give, to be kind and helpful produces a fruitful kind of life.
The calamity that plagues the world is the calamity in a human heart. We can be better. Every staff member at Canterbury has this as a part of his or her job description, “Do It Better.” I want to live a better life each day and to do so I have found living with others in mind gets me to that goal. Imagine a world where everyone did that; we would all be better for it.
The statistics are overwhelming on this issue alone. Think of all the other problems in this world: injustice, poverty, racism, crime and more. We may want to throw up our hands and say that the problems are too big and too many. Or we can do one thing and slowly the world can change and become more like the home we have been discussing.
Dangerous Prayer Retreat
December 2-3, 2016
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