Grace and Peace to you.
I’m back in Massachusetts after a week of travels in California and Montana. I led a retreat, visited my dearly beloved Pacific Ocean, saw a friend I haven’t seen for 15 years, and spent some time with my sister and brother. I waved to our sons in the Twin Cities as I flew by.
All those places were familiar; they were my home at some time in my life. Now I’m home in Massachusetts, which, after eighteen months, still feels the least like “home” to me. Twenty different houses in seven states (and also England) have at some time been the place I called home. When people ask me where I’m from, what should I say?
This is not uncommon; we are mobile. And our jobs, social surroundings, families and life situations change. In some way all of us, even those of us who live in the house that’s been in the family for generations, are migrants, exiles and refugees. We’ve come from, or are heading, somewhere else. So with all this bumping around, where do we really belong?
Well, hokey as it sounds, we belong in God. Our surroundings may or may not be where we are “from,” but regardless of the landscape, we come from God, we are rooted in God, and we are known and desired in a place that is our own, in God. We are not little specks far below that God looks down on from heaven as from a plane. We live in God’s heart, within God’s compassionate presence, inside God’s love. No matter where we are, we are held in God’s gentle arms. We may be ill suited to our surroundings, or find them foreign, or long for the familiar land or people we call home; we may feel uprooted, alien or lost, and we are probably not now where we will some day be; but we are never outside God’s loving presence. Each of us, wherever we are in our life’s journey, belongs just where we are in God.
When someone asks you where you’re from, pause a moment before you answer and listen for that heavenly voice that silently says, “Right here.”
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