There are a lot of different ways to be homeless, to feel displaced in your own life. Relationally homeless. Spiritually homeless. Physically homeless. Professionally homeless. Even emotionally homeless, as waves of tragedy and violence fill this world we are trying to live in and love in.
Homelessness is disorienting. Where do I belong? Who are my people? What belongs to me? What is my place? Where can I rest? Those of us stuck in the midst of one of life’s seemingly interminable messy middles feel this acutely, lurking in no-man’s-land.
What do we do when we don’t feel tethered, grounded, placed?
The above Scripture from Psalm 68 has long been a favorite of mine: “God makes homes for the homeless.” What a beautiful piece of poetry. Have you experienced this? Radical displacement followed by God finding you, reaching out to you, and building you a shelter? Maybe the shelter wasn’t the mansion on the hill you were hoping for. Maybe it was a lean-to, cobbled together out of the most unlikely sources. But extraordinarily beautiful in its own way because it was something made from nothing. Resurrection.
I remember when our family moved overseas with two toddlers and a new baby on the way, and the reality of displacement burned in my chest every day. To the point that I felt desperate at times. While we were there, God found me in the strangest possible ways. Hot pink bougainvillea. Handmade rugs. A tiny Ethiopian nanny. A friend. A new baby born in a room where a huge arrow pointed to Mecca and a prayer rug hid in the bedside table.
He has the wildest ways of finding us. Of sheltering us. Of building us a home when we are refugees in our own lives.
After dropping my kids off at school this morning, I parked in the driveway and passed one of the two potted bougainvillea flanking the garage door. The one on the right is blooming, healthy, abundant. The one on the left, pictured here, is scraggly, boney, maybe even dying. But at the end of a long brown lifeless limb, was this cluster of irreverent fuchsia blooms.
How is this possible? I don’t totally know or understand, except to say that I think this is somehow one of the most important things we can learn in life: He makes beautiful things out of barrenness. He makes homes for the homeless. And he often does it against all odds.
If you are feeling homeless today in any way — not sure where you’re going to live professionally or relationally or emotionally or physically — you’re not alone, and God has not forgotten. He can spin beauty out of dust. That’s his way. And, personally, I’m holding him to it.
Love to you,