Being 30,000 feet above the ground is a great place for getting perspective.
My carry on bag is stowed safely above me, my passport is in hand. I have kissed my family goodbye and I am headed for Amsterdam. This week I will rejoice in crooked houses, ancient canals, piquant cheeses, clomping clogs and two-lipped tulips.
The beauties of Amsterdam are not the main attraction, though. This week I will get to drink tea with my beloved friend Megan and her family, and I will get to hug my sister in person (because distance-wise Belgium and Holland are more like neighboring counties than neighboring countries). And I will get to spend the weekend with the women at Thousand Hills Church, where I will be speaking at their women’s conference.
I have not met any of these women yet, and already I love them. I’m excited to meet them, to put names and faces to the souls I already cherish.
In a way, those feelings make no sense at all. They are sentimental and unreasonable. Silly, even. But as I sit at 30,000 feet, it occurs to me that maybe those feelings are quite sane indeed.
You see, I have traveled great distances at great heights before: to new lands where I knew nothing and no-one. And every time, it has been my experience that while the country, customs and culture around me might be different, as soon as I met with a group of believers, I found that I belonged already.
I may be a stranger in the land, but I am already a sister in the Lord. I may not know anybody’s name, but already there is a “unity in the Spirit”, and a “bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). I have a passport and visa which allows me to visit a new country, but as a believer I hold a global passport to community, confirming that we are “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
We already share kinship and a king. I love them already, and it makes perfect sense.
This is day 1 of the 31 Days of Belonging. See you tomorrow!