…καὶ ὁμολογήσαντες ὅτι ξένοι καὶ παρεπίδημοί εἰσιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς:
“...and they professed that they were foreigners and strangers upon the land.” (Hebrews 11:13b)
All my friends are moving. and it sucks. and things that suck should be talked about.
when living as a traveling foreigner, I can feel strangely dependent. With limited provisions, no relatives to call upon for lodging or food. no place to call my own, except the room or bed I rent for the evening or the couch I crash on. surrounded by strangers, not known in the least – at my most adventurous moments, it feels thrilling and electric. it is at those other moments – when I am feeling contemplative or needful, where it can be absolutely depressing. and, very rarely, terrifying.
if Hebrews is to be believed, a mark of spiritual wisdom and good theology is to admit the more metaphysical sense of what I have just written.
that we are each in this position.
all the time.
this place, at least in its current form, isn’t a place we can reasonably expect to “live” forever. my theology about where “home” is has changed over the years. we’re not aiming for puffy clouds or “going to heaven” or other equally unhelpful abstractions – rather, home is the place where God’s way of doing things becomes THE way of doing things.
home is the place where kids aren’t hungry anymore. it is where social classes cease, and everyone has a job to do that fulfills them. where no one feels the need to get ahead by trampling on their fellow man, because you’re already exactly where you want to be. it is not a place I believe we can get to under our own power.
God is going to remake this place, this foreign land where we currently rent out our lives. it will become the place it was meant to be all along, and people are supposed to be helping that come to be. but until then, we are visiting, and our hosts are not always welcoming or kind.
sometimes, I get tired of traveling. in 14,300 miles of driving through Canada and Alaska, I never got tired of it. but eventually I would have. because it wasn’t home. it was absurd for me to think I could actually blog the trip day-to-day, as I had begun to do. the Rules of the Wilderness soon taught me the foolishness of my ways. 4G networks and wi-fi internet connections have no place in the Yukon. it knows, and forces the passer-by to accept, that the experience of a traveler cannot be captured with a few photos of bears and a mountain.
I wonder – when that day comes, that we cease to be foreigners, when our souls finally arrive home for real, will we remember what it was like to wander?
now – that was a rather lengthy prologue to what’s really on my mind. friends are moving. to California, to Seattle, to Portland, to the South, to the Northeast. to wherever.
The Fort Collins Exodus of 2012 – 2013.
it makes me wonder why we don’t have tribes anymore. we’re already spiritual foreigners, must we constantly be strangers to one another too? but before this comes across as a giant pity party for myself, I wish to say that I only write about it because it sucks. and things that suck should be talked about. one day, when we are Home, things will quite probably cease to suck.
but in preparation for that day, I want to write out my thoughts, the smallest expression of my angst, so maybe the smallest piece of me will remember what it was like to be traveling and to be a stranger and to lose something valuable and important. how else, after all, will I remember what it was like to not be home?