It was just over a year ago that I played Tetris with the sum of my earthly possessions. One year since I carefully packed and repacked and repacked again to ensure each item would fit tightly placed in the back of Yoda, my Toyota RAV4. One year since, through buckets of tears, I said goodbye to the town, friends, students, and families that I completely adored and followed Jesus into the unknown of Orlando, Florida.
I go back and forth between feeling like I’ve always been here and wondering why I ever came in the first place. Feelings of deep friendship battle feelings of loneliness and disconnection. Confidence in what Jesus has brought me to mixed with missing the place He had me.
It makes home a funny thought to me these days. Yes, I live in Orlando now. But I left a big ‘ole piece of my heart in Dallas. West Palm Beach is my favorite place in America. And WinShape Camps in Rome, GA will forever be holy ground to me, a place I feel utterly and entirely home. Even still, my family lives in four different cities, in three different states, way too many miles apart.
It has me thinking a lot about home & “thin places.”
It’s a Celtic idea that is rich with the pursuit of God’s presence here on earth. It’s the idea that there are places on earth (the Celts thought actual, physical places) where Heaven is nearer than others. Now, I’m not quite sure that the coordinates matter, but I’m bent on the idea that we can welcome the already pervasive presence of God and allow it to change our spaces.
I’m giddy at the idea that we could be curators of a love so divine that people sense the presence of Jesus when they’re with us… no matter where it happens to be.
The more I think about living in Orlando, and home, and missing the places I have spent days, and months, and years of my life, the more I think about the gift Yahweh has given us in creating havens for others to find rest. In the smallest sense of the word I want to be home. I don’t want to go home anymore; I want to be it. I want to be a place of refuge, consistency, and joy. I want to remind people who they really are and to Whom they really belong. I want the noble name of Jesus to show up in every conversation. Not out of obligation, but because knowing Him as changed me. It has made me better, and different, and more hopeful. It has made me kinder, more thoughtful, more loving.
I want friends and strangers alike to feel a sense of belonging and value and safety when they are with me. Be it in my living room, across the table from me with a hot cup of coffee, overseas in a Costa Rican high school, or across the globe, connected only through FaceTime.
Home doesn’t have to be an address. It’s people, full of stories and life and laughter. It’s a freedom to invite others into and a reflection of our good Father. It’s a commitment to showing up fully wherever you are. Where have you been given the opportunity to curate home? What can you do to invite and engage the Spirit of God in order to make your current location a thin place? Where can you join Yahweh in a place He is already at work?
Let’s stop coming home, and become home instead.