Belonging Between Worlds
I've lived in 3 countries, 18 cities, and 45 houses throughout my life. I'm a proud mix of cultural influences from Anglo-America, the Hispanic world, and Thailand. I'm what they call a "Third Culture Kid." I've struggled to answer the questions, "Who am I? Where is home? Where do I belong?" As the child of people in Christian ministry, perhaps I should have found my true "home" in the church. But, while I've owed much to my upbringing in the church, I've also experienced some of my greatest rejection from other Christians. In many ways, I feel like a foreigner everywhere.
On the other hand, I feel like I can connect with everyone. I've had true friendships with people who don’t speak the same language. Even though I’m committed to following Jesus in a “sold out” kind of way, I can find it easier to share who I really am with those who do not identify as Christian. I have friends from every socio-economic class, and nearly every background, and I feel like I "belong" with them all.
I belong to the West, the East, the Global South, and the Global North. I belong to those who love the church, but also to those who have been hurt, alienated, and deeply disappointed by it.
These experiences have given me a deep longing for wholeness in community, and for everyone to discover what it truly means to belong in a way that goes deeper than culture, race, ideology, politics, or religion. These experiences have been the greatest motivator in my quest for truth, justice, and ultimately for God and his desires for the world.
I have come to believe in the God who came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. As Rich Mullins put it, "The world can't stand what it cannot own, and it can't own you because you did not have a home." I believe that this homeless God came so that we could know what it truly means to be home--not "home" in a political party, an ideology, a culture, or a race, but truly home as human beings in a world that is actually ruled by Love, not by death and violence.