I’m home. I’ve just returned from three weeks in Norway with Beth and our son Jonathan (the trip was a Christmas present from Jonathan.) There was much that felt unfamiliar and much that felt like home. (Especially the mountains, for this Montana boy.) Among our many adventures there, we went to a “town” (a farm, really) called Garnaas, where part of my name comes from. Beth’s grandfather came from there to America in 1877. There we met Beth’s fourth cousin, a Svenkerud. The farther back in your family tree you go the more names you include. And we met his daughter, Jonathan’s fifth cousin, pregnant with Tanner’s sixth cousin. The farther down the tree you come, the more relatives you have.

I thought about how Vikings came to Britain, where most of my ancestors were, and how Scots came to Norway in medieval times, and wondered how much Norwegian blood I have, how much British blood Beth has. Tracing her DNA back 40,000 years, you’ll find that “her people” came from central Asia and eventually migrated through northern Africa to Scandinavia. If you go back far enough we’re all related.

But you don’t have to “go back.” We’re all related. We’re all one. We all come from the same love, that has found six billion kinds of beauty. We all come from the same breath, that speaks a million different languages. We are all migrants in this world, come from God and going to God. We’re all home. We’re all one. Wherever you are, whoever you are with, welcome home to your family.


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