“The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” ~ Psalm 146:9
I have traveled to eight different countries in my lifetime. I know that is not as many as some but it is more than most. Whenever I am in a different country I immediately feel the tension of not being at my home. I am no longer a citizen but have merged into an outsider. A foreigner. One year the church I worked for at the time went to Mexico to help build a church building to help what God was doing in the churches there. We crossed the border in a town called Nuevo Laredo and stayed at a hotel just inside the city. That evening one of the gentlemen who led the trip gave us all “the talk” (not that one J). He became very stern and said, “You have got to realize that you are not in the United States anymore. This is their country and you have to abide by their rules. Don’t do anything stupid.” As we ventured down to Monterrey where we would work for five days I remember passing many Humvees with mounted .50 cal machine guns on the back with officers waiting for someone to challenge them. I felt a lot of things that week but in a foreign land I felt very much disjointed.
You might make the argument that all of us are foreigners when it comes to our spiritual home. The words of a famous gospel hymn come to mind: “I am a poor wayfaring stranger, while traveling through this world of woe. Yet there’s no sickness, toil or danger in that bright world to which I go.” The psalmist points to an ancient tradition of God taking caring of the foreigners who had nothing (see Lev. 19:34). The Israelites were to take care of them, which included letting them glean from the fields of their harvest. Like the Israelites, we too are simply foreigners who have lost their way and are wandering about searching and longing for a home. Like Dorothy we are looking for our Auntie Em, which represented home but until then we are pitted against the forces of darkness. Will you trust that God takes care of you? May you rest in the care that God provides during times of the wilderness.
Prayer: God of mercy and direction. We wander aimlessly and our hearts are restless. Give us navigation and direct to an ever-increasing knowledge of your presence and goodness.
- In what ways do you feel like a spiritual nomad?
- What does home look like to you?