Lost in the proverbial wilderness of my time at university, and searching for something to fill a profound hunger begins this account by necessity. In fact, it could begin at any point along the way in my life because, let’s face it, I have a tendency to get lost. And when I get lost I get hungry for home, what I think of as the familiar. Home is where those I love are all gathered around a warm fireplace, smelling the aroma of homemade hot cocoa and munching on cookies. That is exactly what I want but what I want is not what I have or receive. Like the Israelites thinking of warm bread, fresh from the oven, when I get lost, I yearn for something that smells and tastes of home. I want to go home where the fresh bread is baking but God gives me something I do not recognize. Thus, I ask, manna, what is it? (Exodus 16:15).
So, I never find a true home when I’m looking for it in all of the usual places. After I studied abroad in Cambridge, England, I realized that home is something found progressively. It can be found anywhere on earth where we can get lost. Home, however, is where we are never lost but always found. Home is not to be found in any “temporary diversion,” though they most certainly can be interesting stops along the way. Home is not something you can search for because home is something that finds you when you least expect it.
Who knew that home would find me in an apartment with four of my best friends, around a dinner table with complete strangers, and in the nursing home where my grandmother is visited by her children and grandchildren? I certainly looked in all the wrong places until I was found in those. Thinking of those people makes me hope that I can recognize the goodness of God’s manna when it is before me. And while it was fun to get lost in London, Chicago, Granada, and Amsterdam, getting lost is not as good as being found and, therefore, being at home.
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