Today, I threw mud at walls.

Actually, I’m helping build a house, out of mud and straw. When the pioneers had nothing but flat prairie for miles and miles, they reached down into the earth and made a home out of it. Dead grass, and layers and layers of mud. They didn’t know they’d patented the most secure and well-insulated building material there is: earth.

I reach into a bucket of straw and earth-slime, and chuck handfuls of mud at the wall. It sticks—most of the time. Sometimes it rejects the wall (or the wall rejects it, I’m never sure which) and it falls to the floor. The stuck-mud I grind in with my palm.

I’m up to my forearms in slimy foreign soil. A pioneer on someone else’s frontier. A stranger just passing through. As I build this home for another, a unplanted seed in me aches; to be buried, broken, give all, and cling to earth in the grip of new life.

I have thrown myself at many a wall, but it seems I am not the sticking kind.

Or maybe I haven’t been thrown against the right wall, yet.

The only building material I have is questions, composted and fermented, so I keep hurling them at the wall and hoping something will stick and turn into something solid.

A restless wind wanders through the building site, upsetting iron roofing sheets and creeping chills down my spine.

The house is unmoved. After all, mud and straw-bale houses are so deeply rooted, at one with the earth, nothing can knock them down. They may bend a little with the moan of the earth, but they will spring back and settle, just as they were before. Still the wind tries.

The earth house asks the wind, bemused: Where did you come from? Where are you going?

These are simple questions that the earth has no problem answering. It’s not easily moved.

Like most earth-beings, I feel the longing to cling to the ground. To grow roots deep, stake my claim, make it my own, so I might belong to it. So I’ll have an answer to that question: Where?

The wind laughs. It has no use for such questions.

I stand chilled and mud-splattered, wondering if I should seek refuge or flight. Am I wing or am I mud?

In my recent years of wander, wind has been a more familiar companion than walls.

Didn’t You say? Anyone who is born of Your Spirit, would be like the wind: “[…]you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.” (John 3:8)

So I heard that Spirit song on the wind, beckoning me to follow. Then I discovered the cost of being wind-borne: it means leaving earth. The voice ahead that beckons, also said “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)

Spirit born, I am neither fox nor bird. I cannot fly away or burrow into the ground to be safe. I am exposed, stuck to the earth, blown by wind.

What did the Son of Man—no nest, no fox-hole—hear when the wind howled against his journey? Whistling over the deserts, laughing in the thunder. He curled, sleeping content in a sinking ship. In thunder and rain, he heard his Father’s song, drowning out the storm.

Old father Abraham heard that disconcerting voice on the wind, and set off, not knowing where he was going. Wind and spirit blown, he searched for a promise—a home land. A piece of earth to be his forever. Tent-dwelling stranger, he squinted and saw that land from far-away. And then he returned to the earth, at peace, buried in the soil of his promises.

God reached hands into earthy mess and carved himself a home. Full of his breath, a mirror of his face of love. I am made of naught but mud and wind—the breath of God.

What did old Abraham’s eyes see? Something better than dead earth dust, I think. He saw a city that would one day come, not built by mud and human hands, but hands of heaven. (Hebrews 11:8-16)

I also squint against wind and dust, trying to see such a homeland, long awaited, where I might belong. I slap on mud with my hands, rub into pores of straw and mud. I feel the ache of the between-lands. A land waiting to be married, to be filled with the life she lost long ago when a Garden died and floods petrified.

My hands: brown, earthen and empty. I remember His moulding mine.

God reached hands into earthy mess and carved himself a home. Full of his breath, a mirror of his face of love. I am made of naught but mud and wind—the breath of God.

Son of Man, with no place to rest, is seeking home walls of human hearts. In me.

Me—earth-made, Spirit-born—blown by wind and built by hands to be a resting place. A shelter from storms. And God took on earth-garments to seek a home, in me?

So what does this, earth wanderer, mud-house slapper, home-seeker conclude?

Do I long for home? Yes, oh yes. To lay down my burdens, to have happy hearts welcome me home, to create beauty that won’t ever die—to never be alone. Yes, that’s what I desire.

Now God made Man stands in Heaven, architect and builder of his own city. A promised land, a home where every heart that has been his earth-home, will find theirs.

Kat Selkirk
Kat Selkirk is a nomadic tea enthusiast, Canadian by passport, who found her home in God’s heart. She spent half her childhood in a small Ugandan town, where she developed her passions for nations, tea, dirt (gardening), writing and Jesus. While in University she got hijacked by God’s heart and became an intercessory missionary. She has no current address.