“Where are you from?”
A simple question makes for a fifteen minute conversation as I scroll through my head, which area of the country I should claim. I usually just claim my previous location to which saying “Canada” and having folks confused for months without any confidence of what is true or what is not.
A funnier question is, “Where is your family from?”
The best place to be asked is is at a local restaurant as I grab a pen and begin to the draw lines for dirt roads, a small pond and a pecan farm where multi-generations on my father’s side has settled. There is an added description of my maternal grandmother’s immigration from Scotland. There is still the every two year family reunion along the coast of Maine that started with my great grandparents and their children. Close to a hundred folks huddled around beach tents to catch up with distant relatives, newly weds and added babies to the mix. The response after the dirt road napkin drawing and family reunion description is “Wow! That’s amazing! You never hear about that anymore.” I am usually shocked only to realize it is a novelty indeed.
But, how do we claim home?
The US Census Bureau claims persons, after the age of 18, migrate an additional 9 times in their lifetime after the 2-3 times experienced during their childhood (2007). My initial thought, “That’s it?”
I have sat down with friends to write a chronological-geographical timeline of my life. It fills a sheet of paper. The last place says “Lexington, KY” but should I have added all of those couches I stayed on during a three month stint?
I just left one of my favorite places in the world. Yes, Rhode Island. A state with “island” in its name, but is not an island at all. The biggest smallest state. The ocean state, where the smell of salt water graces the noses of every person passing through. It is a place that I love. A place where confused people think Dunkin’ Donuts is actually good and the Rhode Island accent is hard on the ears. All jokes aside. It is a beautiful place and one of my favorites.
We all need a home base to feel safe. A sanctuary. A resting place.
There are days I feel like I am there. Still others, where I don’t. Even within sounds of the ocean waves
Every one of those people died. But they still had faith, even though they had not received what they had been promised.
They were glad just to see these things from far away, and they agreed that they were only strangers and foreigners on this earth.
When people talk this way, it is clear that they are looking for a place to call their own.
If they had been talking about the land where they had once lived, they could have gone back at any time.
But they were looking forward to a better home in heaven.
That’s why God wasn’t ashamed for them to call him their God.
He even built a city for them.
I could go back at any time. The reckless detachment from a single place is somewhat blissful. It gives the ability to scurry along the highway to find the previous life and relish in it. Or the ability to stumble upon a new land.
A stranger idea has found me.
It has become less about finding home here, but drawing towards the community I am being placed in.
The journey of those I am walking along with. The other wanderers. The others who know there will be something more… later.
Kingdom Now has become more of the community I draw near to then establishing roots in a certain place. It has become less about the where, but more about the who. I may fumble my way through relationships. At times, I try to find my “home” within those friendships. Every once in a while I need to be reminder home is a place we look forward to as we continue as foreigners in this land.