Place to Be

Here’s what I’m thinking about today as I slowly sip a cup of coffee.

Home.

It’s one of the things I’ve been wrestling with this year. I’ve lived in Colorado for almost two years now but in many ways I still feel very new. Sometimes it feels like I’ve settled here, but to be honest it’s more like I’ve just become good friends with Colorado Springs. We’ve had a few fights (blazing fires, snow in April) and we’ve had some good times (hiking in the hills, summer-length summers) but I have known Home so deeply in WA that it’s hard to compare it. In fact, I don’t want to compare the two places.

One thing that solidifies my desire to understand all of it is a conversation I had with the last speaker in the school a few weeks ago. He used to travel around the world and teach the way I have been dreaming of doing and so I asked him if he would sit down with me and give me some pointers about doing this well. He had some really good tips. One of them was to have a home to come back to- not a house necessarily, but a community and a place where I feel grounded…

This made a lot of sense to me: flying from place to place, from people to people, a person needs an anchor. We all need other people who know us so well that when we’re even slightly “off” they see it and care to ask.

Here is what I currently have. I have roots in Western Washington. Deep roots. People who know me deeply and love me. People who want me around but are also willing to invest prayer and money into seeing me go wherever God leads. People who believe in me, who call me regularly and who text me random details from whatever kind of day they are having. This morning I texted my friend Jessica to tell her I had bought underwear with the Target card she gave me months ago and I knew this would make her smile.

What I don’t have in Washington, I do have in Colorado: a deep passion to see the nations really know God. It doesn’t make sense to me, but if I spend too long in Washington, this fades. Maybe it’s the cloud cover which disconnects me from these big dreams God has placed in my heart… maybe it’s the proximity of so many beloved friends and a responsibility I feel to be present with them.

In essence, being away from half of my heart (when I’m in Washington) causes that far away half to die, but being away from the other half (when I’m away from Washington) leads to a strange kind of enlarging, a new kind of drive to let God expand my capacity. A capacity that includes those at home and the nations.

So maybe I’m not supposed to belong completely in one place, but my partial belonging in many places will keep me moving. Last week I wrote about this sense of not being alone and I feel that still. So I guess what I’m getting at right now is simply accepting this tension.

I still believe really strongly in loving the people I’m in the room with but it’s not always easy to know how that looks.

This coming Friday I’ll be flying back to WA for a few weeks to be “camp pastor” at Warm Beach Camp. I have been looking forward to this ever since that conversation where Matt told me the summer theme would be Finding Your Place in God’s Epic Story.

Now that I think about it, maybe that is what I’m trying to do myself- find my own place in God’s epic story. Peter said to, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.” I guess that is what I am to do.

What does Home look like for you? Who makes up that home and if you had to be (or are) far away from home, how would you stay connected while still engaging with those right in front of you?

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