I am not a stranger to returning home. Ever since I was young i have returned home from church camps, gigs, photo shoots, road trips, family holidays and city tours and have always felt that sense of relief.
I’m home. I’m safe. I can crash.
The deep sigh of seeing the familiar houses in your street, or the smells of jasmine at your front door. This continued when I joined a missions organisation. We would spent two months in Cambodia, and i would get used to spending the day running around with kids or booning through the streets on a three wheel tuk tuk. Then exhausted, we would return to our housing – our home, with a similar sense of relief.
I have learned how to make home where I go. And its usually where i have unpacked my stuff or where my friends are or where I have left my pillow. Yesterday I returned from a two-month outreach through most of the Baltics. I flew to Oslo and took a familiar train to a familiar town, but, this time I ended in a brand new building. A new bed. A new loungeroom. What has made this place home is the family who resides here. Friends, family, heros. The normalcy of eating with them, working alongside them, catching up and chatting whilst sitting with a cute bunny. They are home.
Then I got some mail from two sides of the world. Familiar words, familiar and exciting gifts. candy. and returning to the luggage I left and putting on a missed shirt.
But the other special part of returning “home” was just before we flew out, i sat down at a table in our hostel and spoke for an hour with an Australian bloke who lived minutes down the road from my brother. My accent got thicker, i used words that no one else in that hostel would know. We cracked hilarious jokes that no one else laughed at, and my heart rejoiced. I was home for a little moment.
After waking this morning my beloved younger sister started asking about my homesickness and she said some interesting things about how she never knew what i was feeling but she also felt the same as she has friends all over the world too. and it occurred to me afresh that I am home for other people too and I am away from them. I like that home is people as well as culture as well as physical location.
I like that i can find home all over the world, but at the same time i can’t wait to be back in Australia in the arms of all my favourites speaking the language i love.
sorry im not there with you today.