It was pretty obvious as soon as we stepped off the plane, we were NOT in Kansas anymore!
This was definitely not home!
As we exited the airport to the chaos of the Haitian culture, foreign languages surrounded us, people crowded us, and smells overwhelmed us. Isabella grabbed my hand and whispered in my ear, "Will it be like this the whole time we are here?" I squeezed her hand and said a quick prayer.
It was pretty clear that we were strangers in a foreign land, "aliens" the Bible would say. This was not our home. And honestly, it was a little.. okay... a lot uncomfortable.
We missed being able to communicate with the people around us.
We missed our familiar American food.
We missed American plumbing and hot water.
We missed air conditioning and drinking tap water.
We missed our cozy beds and nights free from the sounds of Haiti (roosters crowing at ALL hours of the night; dogs barking, cars honking).
We missed the families we left behind.
We missed home.
We didn't miss Facebook, emails or text messages.
We didn't miss our hectic American schedule, running from one place to another.
We didn't miss the constant demand for more (more stuff, more toys, more clothes, more entertainment).
We didn't miss those aspects of home.
But then again, those things aren't home. The truth of the matter is, sitting here at my familiar desk, in my cozy house, hair drying from a nice hot shower, my favorite jeans and a nice new t-shirt on, I'm still not home. This isn't home.
1 Peter 2:11 says we are aliens or strangers in this world. The whole WORLD should be a foreign land to us, it should ALL be uncomfortable; even my cozy little house, in my cozy little neighborhood should be uncomfortable. We are called to be in this world yes, absolutely, but we are not of this world. And all the worldly things that surround us, drowned us, and pull us from our true home, where we REALLY belong should leave us feeling uncomfortable, foreign, alien, like we aren't where we are supposed to be.
Ephesians 2:19 says we are members of God's household, fellow citizens with God's people. That is where our home is, with God, in heaven. And no we aren't there yet, none of us are. We are simply not home yet. And we should feel like that. This world is a foreign land, even if you have lived your whole life in the same small town, that little town is not where you will spend eternity.
As I looked around the strange land of Haiti, taking in the trash in the streets, the broken buildings and abject poverty, it was uncomfortable, it was pretty obvious I didn't fit in. But I also knew I was right where God wanted me, and surprisingly, there was a whole lot of comfort in that.
I wasn't home, that was for sure.
But then again, this isn't home either.