Slapping Mud on Walls - Photo by billy liar FLICKR "Cracked mud"
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…Continue Reading
Twice in my life, family and friends have gathered to shower me with domestic gifts. When I got married, everyone wanted to help me set up a home. When I got pregnant, they wanted to deck out a nursery. As someone who’s dreamed about cookware and cribs, this generosity was all I could hope for and more. The problem was, in both seasons, God was calling me far away from home. My husband and I moved to Kosovo just weeks after we got married. After our child is born, we’ll head to France. Unlike most of our peers, our possessions are limited to what we can carry in a few suitcases. We find ourselves constantly resisting the urge to nest. This resistance isn’t easy. I hate declining gifts and having no space for something impractical. I envy the security of my home-owning friends. Yet, in my nestlessness, God has taught…Continue Reading
Home Longings by Joan Godard - Heaven Is My Home Art by Calvin Hanson
In recent travels, we had some flight difficulties and after spending a couple of days in airports, I leaned into Trever and sighed, “I just want to get home.” When cross-cultural workers are asked, “Where is home?” usually we give a complex, indirect answer or answer with more questions of our own. Is home where we were born and raised? Our passport country? Where our extended family lives? Where we presently live and work? Some future destination or all of the above? Listen to Psalm 84’s (MSG) “home” declaration: “What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! I’ve always longed to live in a place like this, Always dreamed of a room in your house, where I could sing for joy to God-alive!.. And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel…. One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship, beats thousands spent on…Continue Reading
Without much notice, all the plans I had held close and made for the next few years of my life were being redirected. I found myself flying over an ocean, making my way back home to my family when I should have been en route to Africa for an outreach trip instead. Sickness had crept upon me, and to home I was returning—with zero plans and many bittersweet feelings. At first, I believed the lie that told me my return meant I had failed. It meant that I was no longer fulfilling the calling on my life and pursuing some great mission—or so it seemed. However, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that through the grace, kindness, and understanding my family extended towards me, the Lord was working all things together for my good. Our good, really. As each day passed, it became more evident that the…Continue Reading