Last night magnified all the feelings I am having about returning. Returning to what? Are we going home? What is home anyway? I'm "going home" to an impermanent situation, people I like but don't know, not my house but one room that isn't quite how I would make it myself, language school where I don't really feel a sense of progress or purpose. Purpose in general feels like a missing commodity sometimes. I'm tired of transition. I want to settle down, make my home, put into practice the ministries I love- hospitality, development and "projects," compassion, extending friendship to those in need. For reasons I won't go into now, it feels next to impossible to do those now in Arequipa.
So last night as we lay in bed in a room that was a long shot from feeling comfortable and right, I mustered up the courage to explore my thoughts and the response the Lord would have to them. I am remembering what Peter said when Jesus asked him if he also (along with other followers) wanted to turn back. "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." We are not here because we thought it would be fun or because someone made us come. We are here because we wanted to follow the Lord. For us, going somewhere else would mean leaving Him. He is our only home.
We are not the first to feel lonely or a little uncomfortable in a place that doesn't feel like home. When Jesus left Heaven and took up residence in the Middle East, I bet there were some things that didn't feel "right"- the heat, the dust, the fact that no one "got" Him. I bet He didn't love the food, either. I think about all the time He spent praying (early in the morning, the whole night, drawing away to a quiet place), and I bet He was feeling lonely and wanted to spend time with His Father. Pretty good plan if you ask me. It reminds me that when I am feeling lonely, lost and not quite right, there's no better answer than to go to prayer, not to ask for anything really but to be with Him. We are His creation, and all of reality flows out of Him.