This is my first post from a strange land.
I am an expat. It’s the first time I’ve tried to put how I feel down on paper, and it sums up like this:
I am here.
I am – there’s no way around it. There’s no denying that I am not far from home, far from the land that raised me up and trained me.
I am me. I am a creature of the wood. I am a creature of the mountains. I am a creature of the lakes and streams and ocean. My bones are hard as granite bones of the mounts and my muscle is the color of the clay the fleshes the hills. My nose is full of the grass, green in the spring, gold in the summer. My tongue tastes the snow and the summer scent of dried pine needles and hot evergreens. Limestone caves, marble monoliths, towering trees, waiting waters are the adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine that store my genetic make-up. But being transplanted from my natural habitat and left to fend for myself – the defenses and weapons I have mastered and engrained into me no longer seem apt.
I am here. Far from me. Far from all that is familiar, far from all that is friendly, far from all that is family. In the foreign land where the very trees are hostile. Where the deer are small and form large herds. The semaphores are on wires and are yellow, and sometimes mounted sideways. The Walmart is huge, arranged different, and doesn’t have any good carts. The hills are sad, and the trees don’t even seem to try to grow tall.
I am meant to be here. Silly, but true. It’s the little things that remind me that this is where my crazy God wants me to be. It’s a word here, or a word there from people I know hear from God. These little words, they are these tiny answer to my questions. And it seems that there is something here that I’m supposed to learn, something that I’m supposed to get, something that is further going to define who I am and who He wants me to be. And there something here that I am going to impart.
I am the only me there is. No one else is me. I have years of training. Years of being poured into. Years of sitting under people who love the Lord. Chapel in the Pines, Rivers of Life, City Ministries, Over the Edge, Rock the Nations, Mexico Trips, Redding, the SHOP, The Call, Joint Youth Trips, Leader Retreats, Rafting Trips, Late Night Talks, County Wide Worship Nights, Night Strikes, Thursday Night Worship Practice, and IHOP are the amino acids of muscles in my spirit.
I am not here to spread the gospel of Tuolumne County. Nor am I here to further the reach of Chapel in the Pines. It’s not on the SHOP’s behalf I come.
I am here for here.
I am here for now.
I am here to see what God has planned for the little Podunk town.
I am an Expat and I am here.