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Home – The Longing of the Soul

Updated: Aug 27, 2021


In March of 2021, I sat down with my producer to discuss which five songs I wanted to have recorded and produced. As I looked over a catalog of songs that I had written over the years, five songs really stuck out to me: Home (see lyrics below), Wilderness, Heaven, Gardens, and Sail Away.


I wrote these five songs over the span of a six-year period. Yet, it wasn’t until we actually started recording them that I noticed an underlying and unintended theme emerge: Home.

Where is home for you? I grew up right outside of Portland in Milwaukie, Oregon. I lived in the same city, the same neighborhood, the same house for eighteen consecutive years, and my parents still live there to this day. That is my home. Yet, my home is also Boise, Idaho, where I moved over a decade ago. I’ve gone to college here, gotten married here, started a career here, had a baby here, and made a life for myself here. This is my home.


Ironically, however, the song “Home” isn’t about either of those places. When I wrote this song 6 years ago, I wasn’t writing about my childhood home in Portland. I wasn’t writing about my current home in Boise. I was writing about the Oregon Coast.


Every year of my life, I have spent anywhere between two to four weeks at the Oregon Coast. It’s where I made some of my most favorite memories: Where I first said “I love you” to my wife when we were dating, where I almost sank my parent’s Suburban in the ocean, where my daughter first experienced the ocean. It has always been a home away from home, a place where I can truly rest.


A piece of me belongs there. A piece of me restlessly longs to be there. A piece of me never fails to experience home there.


So where is home to you? Or, maybe a better question is, what is “home” to you?


Every human heart has a deep and profound longing for home. Yet, home isn’t necessarily a pin on a map or an address you give to your Uber driver. Home is a longing of the soul for something more, something greater.

We long for a place to hang our hat, a place to finally be at rest from all the busyness, distractedness, and frantic pace of our modern world. We long for a place of belonging, a place of familiarity and warmth that allows us to fully relax and be ourselves.


Thus, we run around the world, journeying, traveling, and adventuring, trying to find such a place to call home. Yet, strangely enough, our searching for such a place often leaves us more exhausted than when we first began.


I wrote this song in such a state: Homesick, restless, exhausted, and tired. I longed for home. And even though I was writing mostly about the Oregon Coast, at a soul level I was craving what James K.A. Smith writes here about home:


“In the Confessions, Augustine constantly invites fellow sojourners, sisters and brothers in the human condition, to try on a story they might not have considered, the story that they are made for more than the mundane, that they have hungers no thing can satisfy, that they are loved by the One who made them, that there is a home that’s already been made for them, that the God of the universe knows everything about them and still loves them and is waiting to welcome them home with scars on his outstretched hands. ‘That can’t be me,’ we might at first protest. It’s too fantastical, too unbelievable. It might even offend our need to earn God’s love or prove ourselves. ‘I know what you mean,’ we can almost hear Augustine saying. ‘I’ve been there. What if I told you that you can be released even from that? Would that be the secret you’ve been hoping is true? Welcome to a story you’ve imagined. I’m here to tell you it’s true’” (Smith 162).


As you listen to this song, may a sense of home fill your soul and the warmth of God’s embrace surround you as He welcomes you home.


Smith, James K. A. On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts. Brazos Press: Grand Rapids, 2019.




Songwriter: Jake Wright

Home Lyrics 2021©


Alone in my apartment,

Wishing to be home

That Oregonian rain smell,

Filling up my nose


And I can't help, this burning hole

In my soul, to be back home

The forest sounds, the river shores

The grey sky clouds,

It's all I know, it's all I know


Memories of that coastline,

The waves and the sea foam

Longing to be back there,

To be where I belong


And I can't help, this burning hole

In my soul, to be back home

The forest sounds, the river shores

The grey sky clouds,

It's all I know, it's all I know

It's all I know, it’s all I know


The endless paths to wander

The vagabond in me

It is deteriorating

I want to plant my feet

I'm tired of endless walking

I need a place to be

My heart and soul long for home

I long for family

The endless paths to wander

The vagabond in me

It is deteriorating

I want to plant my feet

I'm tired of endless walking

I need a place to be

My heart and soul long for home

I long for family

And I can't help, this burning hole

In my soul, to be back home

The forest sounds, the river shores

The grey sky clouds,

It's all I know, it's all I know

It's all I know, it’s all I know

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