A line from Jesus Calling daily reading for September 5th – Living in My Presence means living in two realms simultaneously: the visible world and unseen, eternal reality.
I was given this book of daily spiritual thoughts and reflections last Christmas and have endeavored to keep up with it. Most days, the readings are encouraging and inspiring. A number of times, they have spoken to me at a deeper level. This is one of those times. It has set me thinking.
For many years now I have been conscious of a feeling of non-belonging. I suppose many of us feel at one time or another like a fish out of water, or out of our element. Many life situations can trigger that feeling. It can be simple things like moving to a new place or starting at a new school or job. Or it can be heart-rending things like losing a loved one or suffering with an illness that makes us feel alone.
My own burden stems from feeling like I am an island unto myself. Growing up apart from all extended family, two countries removed from where I originated, with only my parents and brother to make up my pack, has caused me to feel “tribe-less” as an adult.
On the one hand, I feel as though I have three home countries. There is the one where I was born and have roots through my mother’s side of the family. Then there is the one where my early childhood memories were made and I have roots through my father’s side of the family. Finally there is the one where I have grown, been educated, married, and raised my own family . . . where I have set down my roots and grown my branches.
The problem with having more than one country is that you don’t feel as though you fully belong to any of them, to their people, their culture. You sort of feel as though you’re divided and straddling between where you are and where you have been. I can think and speak in more than one language, yet can feel like I’m lacking in both when I can’t easily or directly express something in one language that I can in another. It is a state of being in between. But it will not be so forever.
My faith teaches that our lives here on earth are not all there is. We are pilgrims on a journey. There is an eternity waiting for us. It is a place that will be the best home we could ever imagine, where we can be full members of the biggest tribe that ever has been. Where all of our roots and branches will mesh together and tap into and be part of the ONE TRUE VINE.