Right now I am in North Carolina getting myself a theological education. The East coast is a new thing for me. All my roots are on the other side of North America. My most recent home was Santa Barbara, CA. I went to college there and had a hard time leaving that beautiful place. Before SB, I lived a decade with my family in Tucson. But that isn’t where I started life. My place of origin is the Los Angeles area where I spent the first years of my life.
Now, it is hard to say where I call home. Los Angeles could count as “home” because I was born there. But that place seems so foreign to me know. Tucson might be the most rightful spot to call “home” since it’s the place where I remember most of my childhood happening, and my parents still live there. But even that place feels less and less like home every time I go back. I’m not even sure if I feel truly honest when I try to locate my home anywhere in North America. Why? Well, it has to do with my familial roots. My dad migrated from Colombia and my mom came from Costa Rica; my blood says I’m Latin American. Where is home
To be honest, I am not too intent on trying to figure out how I can assign “home” to a certain geographic location. Don’t get me wrong! My Colombian and Costa Rican roots are very important to me. I love to hear stories about my parents and grandparents and their coming to the United States. Those stories and those cultures shape who I am today. My years in LA, Tucson, and Santa Barbara also have played a big part in forming my identity. I have learned so much from my relationships with those people in those cities; I am indebted to them.
So why am I not too concerned about what city or country to call “home”? Because, I have located myself in God’s Kingdom – that is the place where I find my true identity. The Church, the place where Christians are enabled by the Spirit of God to make the Kingdom of God known, is my family. Every Sunday I pledge my allegiance to the Kingdom of God when I stand up and walk down the aisle and take the Eucharist. I say along with Paul, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
My particular nationality, culture, family, are all very important to me, they make me me. But they are subservient to my primary allegiance to Christ and his Kingdom. In fact, I believe that I can only experience the goodness of all my particularity (nationality, culture, family, etc.) when I understand that stuff in proper relation to Christ the King (Hebrews. 2:8). If I don’t understand God as the Creator and Lord of all of me and the rest of His creation, then I will not be able to fully experience all the goodness God intends for me.