A Loving Home

By Father John Guzaldo

God bless us, every one

While I lived in downtown Austin and again when I lived in the Bryan-College Station area, I ran into many lifelong Aggie and Longhorn fans. Many of them lived in homes that had a sign on the front door saying, “This is an Aggie home,” or “This is a Longhorn home.” Often their homes as well as their cars and trucks were painted the respected colors of maroon or burnt orange. Believe it or not, sometimes even their doorbells played the fights songs of their respective schools. In other words, these families wanted the neighborhood to know where their loyalties lay and what their traditions were, and they wanted their homes to reflect that. I’m sure if I looked long enough, I would find Baylor fans with similar homes.

When someone says, “Let’s go home,” or, “This is my home,” it means much more than just a house. A home is where a person is formed. It is a place where values and morals are instilled.

The church often calls the home the “domestic church.” In other words, the home is where faith is put into practice and celebrated. At church we hear about all the attributes of a person who loves God. Virtues like compassion, forgiveness, patience, tolerance and generosity are spoken of on Sunday, but it is in the home that God gives us many chances to practice those virtues.

We cannot choose our families — God chooses them for us. We did not pick our parents and siblings. It’s a good thing because if we did, we might not have a chance to grow in love. We would probably pick a family or family members that we thought suited us. God plops us in all kinds of families, and whatever sign we put out on our front doors, hopefully it is be one that reflects more than just sports loyalties but also the faith that holds our family together.

Many of the homes here where I live in North Waco, however, do not have signs out front that reflect aspects of the families inside. If they did have a sign out front, it would not say that it was an Aggie or a Longhorn home or even a Baylor Bear home. Sadly, many of the signs would say, “This is a broken home.” These families deal with hardships and daily struggles that can lead to sadness and despair far worse than dealing with the loss of a football game by their favorite team. They often live paycheck to paycheck or welfare check to welfare check. I imagine they live desperately hoping that one day they will be able to relax and spend a weekend cheering for their favorite team and not worrying about how they are going to make it financially through the next week.

Although many of the families in my neighborhood may not pledge allegiance to any particular college football team or university, after having gotten to know many of them, I would say that many do exude an immense amount of sacrificial love.

There is an elderly lady on my street who lives in what most people would call a run down home. She has had 10 children and at last count has 81 grandchildren and great-grandchildren altogether. There are kids out in front of her house every day of the week. Her grown children care for her needs, and her many grandchildren play in her front yard as she listens to their laughter. I say “listens” and not “watches” because she can’t — she is blind. I’ve walked by her house many times, but last week I stopped in to say hello. Just listening to her joy and love for her family made my day.

No, this home doesn’t have a sign out in front that says this is an Aggie or a Longhorn or a Baylor Bear home. They also don’t have a sign saying, “This is a broken home.” If, however, they did want to put a sign out front, it would probably say something like, “This is our home. It does not look like much, but it is a place of love and joy.” Or maybe simply, “This is a loving home.”

God bless them and their home.