Jen Pollock Michel earned her BA in French from Wheaton College and her MA from Northwestern University. She is the author of Teach Us to Want and speaks on practical theology, spiritual formation, marriage, women and calling, and the writing life.
"Home represents humanity's most visceral ache — and our oldest desire," writes Michel. In literature from Cervantes' Don Quixote to Marilynne Robinson's Lila and other novels, individuals grapple with loss and homelessness as they struggle to survive. In the Bible, we read of God's wandering people, the Jews, experiencing a longing for home as an intense desire.
Michel points out that place is one of the best gifts of the Creator to his people, and there are many ways to respond to it. In his book Playing God, Andy Crouch connects home with housework: "Dirty dishes remind me of my own creatureliness, my implication in and membership in the world's glorious mess."
Housekeeping keeps us busy and alert to hints of grace, which also are manifested during our meals. Michel explores the beauty and the bounty of Sabbath rest. She also sees home as a place where we can "outlast our sufferings."