There's No Place Like Home

Kaity Van Riper
Posted August 1, 2016 from United States

I always identified with Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" clicking her ruby slippers together in an effort to get home. Home has always been a sacred, safe place to come to after a weary day. As someone relatively priveledged, my parents always had a welcoming space that was cool in the summer, warm in the winter, stocked with food, and filled with love. I went away to college, spent time overseas, moved across the country, but HOME was always there to return to.

When I graduated and could not find a job for several months, I had no place to live. I moved home, to find my parents were selling the house. I suddenly felt lost, abandoned, in a sea of chaos. I had nowhere to go. No place to call home. I am by no means comparing this situation to the plight of the refugee, but the sense of home certainly ties into one's identity, a need for safety and belonging. When the place of refuge is taken away, one's psyche begins to float like a balloon in the wind. One feels tossed about, battered and lost.

My heart has always broken for the homeless, those who must wander aimlessly, nowhere to lay their heads. And worse yet, for the refugees. Having a place to sleep does not a home make, and the conditions of the shelters and camps are stark and bare. To see women carrying babies, no older than my own son, in the cold and rain and sleeping in makeshift tents, is a human rights issue. We cannot let this happen.

Just as my parents always had a warm place for me to return, we, as a community of global neighbors, need to open a place for these displaced people. When one human hurts, we all hurt. The Jewish world, Shalom, means wellness, peace, and health for all. It means we are all connected, and that I cannot have peace and wellness if my sister doesn't.

Such is this case. There is an organization called World Relief (http://www.worldrelief.org) that is partnering with local churches in the US and helping refugees. Part of the program involves volunteers in local cities in the United States partnering with a refugee family, assisting in welcoming them into their new city and helping them acclimate to their new environment. With organizations like this, and helping hearts, we can make a difference for those facing conflict and displacement around the world.

Let's welcome them home.

This post was submitted in response to Displaced.

Comments 5

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echo demitrez
Aug 03, 2016
Aug 03, 2016

Hi, 

You have written about what we call habitat, our home, place we like to be. At times we feel like coming back to home from the place we are working, studying or for whatever reason we are staying away from home. You have aptly written about how rootless one feels if their house is just not there or something like 'make a shift' happens. No matter what might happen, home remains a home. Kudos for the organizations that are working for the homeless!

Echo Demitrez prays for you!

Kaity Van Riper
Aug 04, 2016
Aug 04, 2016

Thanks for commenting. What is your experience? God bless

Adanna
Aug 06, 2016
Aug 06, 2016

Dear Kkrompas,

I like the title of your article :"There is no place like home".

Thank you for sharing information about World Relief and your support for those facing conflict and displacement around the world.. 

PilarAlbisu
Aug 12, 2016
Aug 12, 2016

Hello Kkrompas,

Thank you for such sharing this beautiful post with us! It was truly touching and it jolted me back into reality. I find lately that in my community, in Canada, the plight of the refugees has taken a backseat to other news, even though people are being displaced by the thousands daily and despite the hundreds that enter my country every single day. Thank you for reminding me of our sacred duty as fellow human beings to help welcome those suffering from the ravages of war. You summed it up perfectly: "we are all connected, and I cannot have peace and wellness if my sister doesn't." I look forward to seeing how I can make a difference in the lives of refugees in my community, how I can help to bring the feeling of "home" to those who most need it.

Thank you again and warm wishes,

Pilar

Kaity Van Riper
Aug 23, 2016
Aug 23, 2016

Thank you for your encouragement. I would love to hear how Canada is treating this issue. America is pretty polarized on the issue. Take care!!