Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Displaced People

I have good news:

I think I found a church home!! This has been a real struggle for me since I have been here. I have been involved in amazing community and teaching at both my church at school and at home over the past four years. Lacking that for the past month has made me realize how much it really meant to me to be greeted with such love every time I walked through those church doors. I always knew that I had plenty of sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents who wanted to hug me and sincerely know how I was doing. It was quite the blessing and it makes the thought of homecoming so much sweeter.

So while I did not get hugged and greeted like a long lost friend (what can I expect, we don't automatically know all of our family in Christ), I found at Lake Avenue a representation of God's community that might just let me stay awhile. It is a short walk from my apartment, it is intergenerational (which I love), and the teaching is biblical. I hope that I may come to call this church my family.

On another note, lately I have been thinking about the world of the Old and New Testament (Let's remember, I am in seminary so I apologize, but I am probably going to have a lot of posts related to spiritual things. Although don't judge if I write a post on the joys of homemade brownies or the like.) It seems to me that a lot of the Bible is written about people that were displaced. From the beginning Adam and Eve were displaced from the Garden, Abraham was told to leave his home, the Israelites were displaced as slaves in Egypt and in the desert, and there was also the exile of the Jews in Babylon. I do not think that this is an accident in the writing of the Scriptures. For one, simply being on this earth we are a displaced people, longing for our true home with God. And secondly, relying on God becomes key when we are forced out of our comfort zone.

I can most definitely praise the Lord that I am not walking through a desert (although it might be cool to see manna rain down from heaven) but I also resonate with this feeling of displacement. I have built a great life here in Pasadena over the past month. I have everything I could ask for and life is good, I would never dispute that. But in my heart of hearts, I still feel that this is not my home. I know, I know, I have been whining about this for weeks. I miss this and that and everything in between. I need to get over it and quit whining. But I miss home. And even more than that, I miss my real home. I miss a world without sin, where people do not go hungry and they don't die of diseases that can be prevented. I miss a world where my selfish desires do not reign above my desire to serve God with every single piece of my heart. I miss a world where my entire family can be in one place, and where the entire world is my family because everyone has realized that my God is real and He loves them. I miss a world where sadness, heartbreak, and hardship did not exist.

We are a displaced people, foreigners in an unknown land. But we were sent here for a mission. May we not forget that we are in this temporary home for a reason. It will not suffice to lead a happy life caring for ourselves and sharing our faith only with those who share it. We must answer the call. We must not sit around idly hoping that someone else will do this for us. Let us rise together so that we can answer the Lord with a cry that we did do everything we could to increase His kingdom on this earth. I'm done complaining about feeling displaced, because, let's face it, aren't we all?

*Bring me back to this post when I start complaining again, because inevitably my sinful nature always forgets these moments of clarity.*

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