Home is a concept that has little to do with a physical building, but everything to do with the emotional, psychological and spiritual space that we each occupy. We live in this space no matter where we are geographically, and no matter what dwelling we inhabit.
Still, there is something to be said about the physical structure that becomes a home. It is a place where multiple people occupy tangible and emotional space together and are tied to it by common memories.
When you lose this place – the building that you call “home” – you lose the memories, the connections and comforts that are necessarily contained in that physical place. But you do not lose the inner space that is really home. In fact, you expand it to include people that were previously separated from you by walls and miles, and suddenly thousands of people are occupying that space with you.
For most of us, the inner home that is with you no matter where you are is linked to a physical, geographical place. It is where you took your first steps, laughed and celebrated with your family, and to where you always return when the world is too harsh, too demanding and too exhausting.
Oklahoma is my home. I was born and raised here, and my family currently lives in Norman, Oklahoma. Norman is about 5 miles south of Moore, Oklahoma on Interstate 35.
If you have been watching the news in the last 48 hours, you know that hundreds of families in Moore, Oklahoma lost their houses in an absolutely devastating storm on May 20th, 2013. Many of those have lost those loved ones and their lives will never be the same again.
But, these people are not without a home. Oklahoma, the United States and the global community are coming together to give those in Moore, Shawnee, and all places in Oklahoma who have been affected by this most recent string of violent storms, a home while their houses are rebuilt and while their hearts are healing.
Please be a part of this effort. There are instructions below for ways to donate to the relief effort here in Oklahoma. But, please, remember that these families need more than basic supplies to survive this ordeal. They need a home.
Make room in that emotional space that you call home for these people who so desperately need to be connected, to be listened to and understood, who need someone to hold them while they cry and most of all, who need to know that they have a home.
How to help:
- Visit www.redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the relief effort.
- Text STORM to 80888 to donate $10 to the Salvation Army relief effort.
- If you are in Oklahoma, please make donations of diapers, clothes, packaged foods and bottled water to your local Food Bank, Salvation Army or RedCross donation center. Also, the University of Oklahoma is accepting similar donations for those in their housing facilities.
Allana Taylor holds Bachelor's degrees in Anthropology and Religions Studies from the University of Oklahoma and completed her Master's coursework at the University of Chicago in 2012. She served as the communications intern for the Council for a Parliament of the World's religions from 2010-2011 and was among the first Contributing Scholars recruited to write for State of Formation in 2010. From 2011-2012 she served on State of Formation's Executive Committee and in 2011 was one of the first members of the Young Leader's Council for the Women of Spirit and Faith. In 2012 she participated in the annual session of the Middle Prairie Institute for Religion and Public Life, a non-partisan think tank devoted to questions of religion and civic life. Her academic interests include Islamic legal theory, the intersection of law and culture, as well as questions of institutional justice versus morality. She identifies as an atheist and is proud to be among a growing number of atheists who believe that theists and non-theists must come together to answer the questions that continue to perplex us. She is currently an Emeritus Scholar for State of Formation, but continues to be engaged in the important conversations that take place here.