You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. (Miriam Adeney)
The beauty of a mosaic is in lots of broken pieces making an amazing whole. The beauty of calling different places home is that a part of my heart fits in each one of them. Yet it’s never the whole. Always there is that longing for somewhere else.
Scattered throughout my home, my routines, my life are echoes of elsewhere. I see them, I know they’re there. Others might not. It might seem like I belong here completely and yet I don’t.
It’s a beautiful longing, but also a painful one. Knowing that this side of heaven, all the pieces of my heart will never again be in just one place.
The painting above (by Sir John Everett Millais) so beautifully depicts Christ living that same reality. He belongs in this home, in this family. Yet there are echoes of the home he left – triangle shapes representing the trinity, a dove for the Holy Spirit. Every day of his life, Christ lived in that tension. Belonging in two places. For most of that time, others didn’t see that. His parents knew – maybe not fully – and treasured the words they had heard. His friends, the workers in the shop, the village? Not so much.
People who understand my reality are an incredible gift. Knowing that Christ walked this reality as well is my great comfort and a foundation that’s strong and sure.
This post has been linked to Velvet Ashes, an encouraging site for women serving cross-culturally.
Picture credit: Tate Britain