Between Worlds

A poem of sorts written about a Third Culture Kid’s* journey, and the Christian faith pilgrimage…

It’s strange…
Feeling more at home on an aeroplane,
Or in an airport,
Feeling more at home between worlds,
Over international waters…
Or perhaps with those who aren’t where you’re from
But aren’t where they’re from either…

Dreading the question of belonging…
“Where are you from?”
Because it can only be answered with “everywhere”…
… dreaded, because the answer also holds
an equal truth…
“… and nowhere.”

Hearing your parents say “we’re going home”
But when you arrive,
You find it doesn’t feel like home at all.
Things you’re supposed to know,
Ways you’re supposed to relate to
And when you arrive, all you feel is
“I’m not from here”.
But if you went back,
You’re not from there either.

Quick to adjust,
But slow to attach
Afraid to commit, because you know
That soon, it will be time to go again.
And the pain of the loss
Might not be worth the effort,
Of another relationship
That must be left behind.

But when you meet someone
Who is just like you
Who was born here, then moved there,
Then back and forth, and then somewhere else
You feel you’ve found a long-lost friend
It’s as if a family member has been found
You laugh and cry,
About things that others can’t understand.

“So who am I?!”
Your soul cries out…
“And where do I belong?
Am I doomed to always be
A foreigner
A pilgrim
Wherever I may go?”

And then one day you realise,
That a Son was sent from another world
To this one, where He didn’t belong either
And told those who followed him,
That His Father – their Father – was preparing a real home for them
But not here…
Because nowhere here is home for them.
Then you finally breathe a sigh of relief,
And realise that it’s ok to feel like a pilgrim everywhere…
Because we’re not home yet.

Hebrews 11:13  “…They (the heroes of the faith) agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland.”

Philippians 3:20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”

*Third culture kids (TCK) are people who were raised in a culture other than their parents’ or the culture of their country of nationality, and also live in a different environment during a significant part of their child development years. They typically are exposed to a greater volume and variety of cultural influences than those who grow up in one particular cultural setting. TCKs move between cultures before they have had the opportunity to fully develop their personal and cultural identity.