As a missionary who has lived in a number of places over the years, one thing has often become difficult to identify - a place to call home. Because where is home? Is it with one's parents at a childhood residence? What about the college town where one spent so many formative years? Overseas where years of ministry have been established? Or in the town of one's "home" church? I am sure military personnel identify with this concept as do retired missionaries, missionary kids, and military "brats." For some of us, it is tough to find a place to call home.
This concept is a hard one, at times. Though I well know that my citizenship does not rest in the confines of this planet, I want "home." I want to put down roots and flourish. I want to know my town and neighbors and yearly happenings and festivals in which I can take part. I want a place to call my own. But the raw, hard truth of it all is the fact that as much as I want those good and normal things, I don't have them. And neither did the greatest missionary who ever lived.
Sure, Jesus grew up in his home town and probably knew a lot of people. But he also spent a lot of his adult years, when one usually "settles down," in itinerant ministry, visiting towns and cities, lodging under whatever roof held a kind enough soul to take him in. He constantly travelled with a bunch of disciples who looked to Him for leadership and friendship and almost endlessly spoke to groups of people who also looked to Him for leadership and friendship. There was no "settle down" for Him, nor was there a "home."
In some ways, I think the concept of not having a "home" was easier when I was overseas. Because, of course it wasn't home. I was overseas! Now that I am back, the desire for permanency, some bit of regularity, and a sense of "home" calls. After all, I am "home" aren't I? But where is that nebulous place which becomes "mine?" A place to hang my hat, as it were. At the point of writing this, I really don't know, and as hard as that is, it has to be okay. After all, Jesus told His disciples that following Him would be all-consuming. When one man pledged to follow Him, Jesus said, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Well, I don't have a "hole," and I certainly do not have a "nest," but I can be thankful that He has provided me with many places where to lay my head!