Coming Home to Grace

17 06 2008

The irony in Cynthia Voight’s novel Homecoming is that Dicey Tillerman and her three siblings spend the entire novel searching for a home when in reality the bond of grace and mutual love they share for each other is their home.  Their “Gram”, on the other hand, believes she has a home but in reality it is barely even a house because Gram resides in a shell devoid of the grace needed to turn houses into homes.

At the beginning of the novel we discover Dicey and her siblings sitting in a parking lot waiting on a mother who will never return.  They begin a long journey looking for a family; for a home.  After many stops and starts, including the rejection of an uptight self-focused “religious” cousin, the Tillerman children end up at their maternal Grandmother’s farm.

Abigail Tillerman, the children’s grandmother, is a bitter recluse who has a reputation in town as an eccentric.  Years of betrayal and desertion by those she loved has led her to become unloving and unlovable.  Her house symbolizes the bitterness which has taken root in her heart.  It is completely covered with weeds and honeysuckle.  No light gets into the house; no work is ever done on it’s rotting foundation.  It has become hidden, closed off and is simply waiting for time to do its work.  Abigial considers this her home, but it is in reality her tomb.

Abigail does not offer her abandoned grandchildren grace.  But slowly the grace they freely give begins to break through and her heart begins to open.  The children also remove the weeds and stubborn tendrils of honeysuckles from the house, letting light in and slowly making it a home.  The honeysuckle and weeds symbolize the bitterness and isolation that comes from Abigail’s life devoid of grace.

Dicey and her siblings thought they had found a home in their grandmother’s house; in reality they found a house in which their home could rest.  But Abigail found grace in the unconditional love of her grandchildren and, in discovering grace, she found the home she had not realized she was without.

The Tillerman children remind me of many Christians I know.  They have all they need through God’s grace but don’t realize it and keep looking for something more.  Abigail reminds me of many non-Christians who believe that they have what they do not, and the very thing which they cling to for security becomes destruction.  Abigail did nothing to receive the love of her grandchildren; in truth she fought against it.  But they loved her, they pursued her, they hunted for her, they never gave up on her and they stripped the weeds from her heart until the bright light of love could shine through. 

What a picture of how Christ pursues us and captures us with His grace!  If He has not captured you, I pray you will give up the fight and let the light in!




2 responses

23 06 2008

Wonderful post.
I am so thankful that God pursues us and want that personal relationship.
I enjoy your blog and have added you to my favs.
I hope you have a blessed week!

24 06 2008

Thank you for your encouragement! He is truly so unspeakably amazing.

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