aliens on earth

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*Note: I am going to be reprinting some of my favorite posts from Onward & Upward blog, mostly because I want to be able to back them up in one place for future safekeeping. So I hope you enjoy the rereads. :-)

Originally published on July 20th, 2006 at Onward & Upward.

“…And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one…” Hebrews 11:13-16

“Where are you from?”

It was an innocent question, but I struggled with how to answer honestly. How do you define “from”? Where you were born? Where you live now? Where you’ve lived a majority of your life? Where your parents are from? How can you sum up your life’s background in one answer?

My answer is complicated because I have moved many, many times in my life. I have lived in four countries, six states, and countless cities. My best friends in high school were French Canadian, Venezuelan, Korean, Chinese, Peruvian, Guatemalan, and American. I have spent most of my life in a country where the national language is not my mother tongue. I have experienced the beauty of God’s world, and the people He loves – all races, all nationalities, all cultures.

“But where are you from?”

Oh right, you probably want a more specific answer than “Earth”. For a long time, I have struggled with my identity as a missionary kid trapped in the feelings of not belonging anywhere. This started my ponderings of what exactly is home, and whether I would ever find a satisfactory answer.

The best way for an artist to answer a question is to ask it visually. The result is my senior art show two years ago, where through 8 pieces I explored all the different ideas of what “home” is to people. I learned a lot of interesting things. My conclusion: I probably will never find a true home on this Earth, because my home is in heaven (Hebrews 11:13-16).

During the opening reception of my show, a lot of people came up to me and explained how they, too, don’t know where to call home. Some are missionary kids like me, others military brats, and still others have just moved a lot. I think a lot of us are in the same boat, and it’s comforting to know that Jesus understands, and promises to provide that home in Heaven. A Home that will never go away, where we can worship Him forever. While I might still desire to have an earthly home, I know that I can always answer, “My home is still to come.”

“For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” Hebrews 13:14