When Home is not Muffins and Tea

Chocolate chip muffins baking in an oven

“I almost missed my bus! I am exhausted and so ready for home” was the text from our fourth child, Stefanie, a few days before a break. Stefanie is in her first year of college in New York City. She has navigated her first year well, but she is tired. I sent back a text “Home is ready with muffins and tea.”

And it was. Muffins and tea represented the warmth and comfort that were waiting for her. That one phrase said “Come in and leave your troubles outside the door, at least for a time, while you relax and are cared for”. There are those times in life where we desperately need to be cared for, to have someone who erases the responsibilities of our lives and replaces them with those things that signify comfort and rest. That is what home is supposed to be.

But because this world is not as it should be, for many home is not muffins and tea. It is a place of pain and tension. A place that signifies anything but rest and instead of being a place to escape to, it is a place where you want to escape ‘from’. For those who have experienced that kind of pain from those closest to them, my words above don’t make sense. Instead, they are like the words of a Polyanna who sees life through a lens that hasn’t experienced real-life.  Home is nothing like muffins and tea – pictures of warmth and grace.

From the beginning of time we have a picture of what life is like with healthy relationships and what life is like without. In the Garden of Eden we have a picture of a home with all the beauty imaginable, fresh fruits and vegetables, comfort and communion. And then we have a picture of what it was like to lose that home; to not know the beauty, the comfort and, worst of all, the communion. The perfect relationship was marred and communion with God underwent a change that would affect every man, woman and child who was ever to live and walk this life. Home was no longer “muffins and tea”.

The redemptive piece of this is that even in our brokenness and flawed understanding, we can help create homes that welcome, not only our own families, but those who are outside of our families. Those that desperately need the warmth of home but don’t have it. The redemptive process can be seen through something as simple and as profound as muffins and tea.