Thursday, July 28, 2011

Both and Neither

I always appreciate the fact that in coming back to the States there are so many people who want to see us and hear how we're doing. That said, I do get tired of answering the same questions over and over again (I have to remind myself that they aren't the same questions to the people who are asking).

I've been thinking about making a t-shirt Jeopardy style that would preemptively answer these questions so we can save some time. It would look something like this:

1. June 9th
2. August 18th
3. We're having a great time!
4. We love it there.
5. At my parent's house mostly, because they have 3 extra bedrooms.
6. NY, Boston, Colorado, Milwaukee and the cabin
7. Panera Bread
8. Both and neither.

Now I'm guessing you can figure out the questions behind these answers except maybe #8, so I'll tell you. The question is, "Which feels more like home?"

Erik and I always pause before we answer that, unsure what to say. Does this feel like home? Yes, of course. Does that feel like home? Yes, after 12 years it does. Do I feel completely at home here? No, and not just because I don't actually own a home here. I know that I think and look at the world differently now and sometimes it makes me feel out of place. Do I feel completely at home there? No. No matter how much language I learn or how long I'm there, I will always be an "outside country person."

But the up side is that it makes me feel more keenly what is most important, which is that we are just passing through. My true home is in heaven and I will feel like a stranger until I get there. It reminds me of one of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes,

"Our Father will refresh us with many pleasant inns on the journey, but he would not encourage us to mistake them for home."

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