As a child I was obsessed with the movie, The Wizard of Oz. It was often that I sat entranced by glittery red shoes and a scruffy dog named Toto. I even named one of my dogs Toto and as you can see from the photo, there was nothing that could peal my eyes from the screen when this was playing.
An iconic line is stated continously by Dorothy as a way of returning to her family. She repeats ‘There is no place like home.’ For me, I always get stuck on that last word. Home. I think it’s because I’m not quite sure where that is for me. Perhaps, the years of hopping between the US and Ireland have created a sense of confusion in regards to this partcular subject matter, and I have approached this topic somewhat in the post, Third Culture Kids.
There are certainly times that I feel at home. For example, I feel at home now in New Zealand and when I go to visit my parents and family, I do feel a little at home there too. I think it quite surprised me when I lived at my parent’s last year and felt out of place. Maybe I felt this way because it wasn’t my home but yes it is a type of home. I guess it can be a good thing that I don’t identify with one place being home, as it makes it easier to move to different places and countries. It probably doesn’t help that over the last few years, I have moved every year to a new place. But who knows, I might make this current spot stretch for another year. Either way, as I repeat the word home, it makes me think that perhaps, I am writing more about belonging than that of an actual place or four walls.
Home is your safe place, where you can sit back and relax within your space or with your loved ones. You belong there. In the wacky world of Oz, Dorothy was certainly out of place and longed to return to where she did belong. But what happens when sometimes you feel like you don’t really belong? When you are on the yellow brick road with some random people and strange circumstances? I think I can relate to this feeling sometimes. It can be confusing and out of place. Sometimes, I can feel like this when I don’t fit into the people groups around me. Yes, I have friends in them but cannot fully relate to any of them at times. Othertimes, it appears in what I do or where I go. I’ll always be different to the American. I’ll always be the girl with the funny accent in Ireland. And for now, I’m simply mixed up between the two. Yes, I don’t ‘fully belong’ here with a history of growing up in New Zealand, but for now I belong. It is home.
It is comforting to read in scripture about Jesus preparing a home for those who love and follow Him. There will be no displacency or separation. We will belong and feel completely content and secure in the everlasting company of a God who loves us. Maybe the part of us that longs for this, keeps the here and now in perspective. That how we choose to live our lives can determine if we are building towards an eternal home. And in the mean time… that we can belong to God’s family. He calls us his own and no matter where in the world we lay our head, we belong to Him.
So until I have my own four walls surrounding me or a people group that I fully relate to, it’s ok. I still belong. I’ll always have a home. I’ll one day be a Dorothy, who will be swept up in red glittery shoes. And remember that although Dorothy wasn’t home yet, she met people that she loved and was loved by along the way too! Yes, ‘there is no place like home’, so let’s be intentional in how we view or make that.
And by the way… I’m super excited about visiting Ireland in February! Nine weeks today till I start the long journey! 🙂 🙂