Back home – and yet not??

As I arrived back in Italy yesterday from my brief sojourn in Scotland I discovered that I was arriving back home – having just left home!! How surprising but very expected.

I am a person who is between two homes. Feeling very Scottish and at ease in my own culture but yet feeling very comfortable as a new (ish) foreigner in Italy. It is odd to be living between 2 cultures. As I walked and talked (especially talked) in my home country I felt a sense of desertion from my community in Italy.

Diggers

I enjoyed a good pint in the Diggers pub with a good old-fashioned Scotch pie – it was very good indeed mmmm – and yet I missed a nice simple glass of Grignolino wine glasswith a few slices of local salami – followed by a lovely pasta with sage and butter sauce.

I live as a British (at least for now British) citizen and yet feeling very much part of my Italian community. It seems rather contradictory and yet very logical at the same time. Moving back to Scotland (even temporarily) gives me feelings of loss and grief and yet joy. However without Italy I feel very much lacking something. I feel as though I belong in neither place but also in both.

As I reflect on this I recognize that this is the state in which a follower of Jesus should be living. I am in this world but not of it as the apostle Paul suggested. I am travelling and living in a culture which I recognise and fit in with – and yet – I don’t fit in. I am longing for the kingdom which is here but not in full and yet can be seen in part.

As I was passing through my old country I saw signs of my new country. Occasionally I heard the Italian accent language and felt instantly drawn to it. As I pass through this life I am intersected by those who are my fellow citizens in the coming kingdom and yet I want  to be here to tell others about this place I know and love which I am longing for them to come and be part of it. And yet I know the country they live in – it is familiar and yet lacking in so many ways.

I am not comparing Italy to the Kingdom of Jesus – I am comparing my experience of being in between 2 places.middle

Italy has  much which needs to be changed and is not a perfect paradise. However the feelings I am experiencing remind me that I am not a citizen of this world but as a follower of Jesus Christ I have a journey to take through a sometimes hostile foreign land where they do not speak the same language or follow the same values and yet I have a travel guide to lead me on to my ultimate destination – the Kingdom not made by hands.

I trust you are walking the same path – if not come and join us – it is a bumpy ride sometimes yet the guide is close always.

journey

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