This article from Boundless this morning rang a deep chord in my soul. The themes of travel, the far horizon, passport stamps, and ethnic food makes my heart sing. And I love how the article wraps up with a picture of heaven. There is something timeless about exploration and sharing food with people. We were created for this, and will continue to enjoy it in heaven.
It is always a dramatic moment for me to fly trans-Atlantic with two passports in hand. One maroon, one navy. American and Irish. It is a huge gift to me, and nothing that I have earned. When the ticket agent in Pittsburg asked me to confirm that Dublin is my final destination, my friend thought it was an amazing idea. Another friend emailed me later: “Really, Ireland must be a novel place to live.” I have lost some of that wonder; some of the novelty has disappeared into the mist. But I hope I never lose the awe of being handed this gift.
The wanderlust comes from generations before me. I have two grandfathers who had the same kind of itchy feet that I inherited. One learned Spanish in middle age, took his family to El Salvador and would happily have stayed for the rest of his life. People there still call him “Papa Juan.” All his children have spent time in service in foreign countries. My other grandfather loved to tell us minute details about his globetrotting in Australia and Russia. My parents love to travel and explore new places. Their open, interested minds shaped me and made my world big.
Now my generation, my cousins, are living and serving in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Ghana. My sister teaches school in California, which is like another country too, isn’t it? And this summer another cousin goes to Liberia, and I go to Poland.
We make our own choices, but we are products of our background. I want to say here how proud I am of my grandparents and parents whose life goals were not to stay comfortable and build up the family farm/business, but who valued people who looked and spoke different from them, and who cared about them enough to pour out their lives in their behalf.
This kind of living is not pleasure-driven, but there is pleasure in it. There is delight, joy, and “ah-ha” moments where we realize again that all people on the globe share the Creator’s stamp, and at the deepest level of our beings, we hunger and long for the same things. We’re not so different from each other after all. The cords on this tent enclose a big family.