Strangers and Sojourners
There is something wonderful and completely humbling about being a guest. Currently, I am spending the Thanksgiving holiday with my academic advisor and her family. Seemingly, I have entered their family seamlessly. They don't pepper me with questions or schedule events for me. Honestly, this has been just the break I need from being an extrovert. My inner introvert needs time to be alone, to be quiet, to enjoy the silence that comes when one is somewhat surrounded by adults and not simply college students of a certain persuasion. More than that, however. This has made me think about being a guest. I am not home on this earth, even though I have family and places that I am very comfortable. Strange as it may seem, this earth has not made me feel very at home. I'm thankful for that now, because it's given me a healthy longing for something better...my real Home.
Lincoln and I just talked about this together last night as we were both anticipating spending Thanksgiving day apart from our families. It was his turn to remind me that even when we do go home to our houses and our loved ones in just a few short weeks, it's not our real Home, and that Home is worth waiting for and worth longing for.
Being a sojourner on this earth puts me in mind of all of those commands in the Bible about welcoming the stranger and having them to join together in feasts with you. While I have always desired to welcome people and I look forward to having a place where I can welcome sojourners, now, it falls to me to be one, and to be thankful for the hospitality that has been so generously poured out on me. From the organic sugar they acquired so that I could eat some of the homemade cranberry sauce to the gentle teasing that let me know that they do not consider me a stranger, even though they hardly know me. It is humbling and a huge blessing.
Recently, the Lord has been teaching me about accepting. Not just accepting people, but accepting help and hospitality graciously. He has taught me more about asking for what I need, whether that is as simple as borrowing a calculator in astronomy lab (or asking my math-savvy boyfriend to help me make sense of said lab) or more difficult, such as asking for a place to stay for several days or a ride to the airport.
I'm not there yet, and I don't pretend to have arrived, but here is something that I do know. The Lord knew that I needed this time of rest and reflection. He knew that I needed these people and this experience. He used my humility and my feelings of abandonment to bless me exceedingly.
I may not be an angel, but I am certainly giving thanks today for those who are willing to welcome strangers...
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may you find rest, reunion and rejoicing on this day as you anticipate going Home for real.