Sometimes you just know someone has a beautiful soul just because of the beauty that flows through them. Rupi Kaur is one of those people. Her book Milk & Honey is a heart wrecking collection of prose that screams of refreshing honesty. I can write pages and pages of reflection on each poem, but this particular one...it met me and said "stay awhile".
DID YOU THINK I WAS A CITY
BIG ENOUGH FOR A WEEKEND GETAWAY
I AM THE TOWN SURROUNDING IT
THE ONE YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF
BUT AWAYS PASS THROUGH
THERE ARE NO NEON LIGHTS HERE
NO SKYSCRAPERS OR STATUES
BUT THERE IS THUNDER
FOR I MAKE BRIDGES TREMBLE
I AM NOT STREET MEAT I AM HOMEMADE JAM
THICK ENOUGH TO CUT THE SWEETEST
THING YOUR LIPS WILL TOUCH
I AM NOT POLICE SIRENS
I AM THE CRACKLE OF A FIREPLACE
I'D BURN YOU AND YOU STILL
COULDN'T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF ME
CAUSE I'D LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL DOING IT
I AM NOT A HOTEL ROOM I AM HOME
I AM NOT THE WHISKEY YOU WANT
I AM THE WATER YOU NEED
DON'T COME HERE WITH EXPECTATIONS
AND TRY TO MAKE A VACATION OUT OF ME
I have that wanderlust spirit and that vagabond heart. I'm always looking for the "next big adventure". Staying still only long enough to feel the breeze but never to form relationships. Partially that's probably commitment and trust issues. The other side of that coin was never really having that feeling of "home".
So let's get vulnerable. This post wasn't written in a day. From the time that I started this post to the evening that I decided to finish it up, I've struggled with how I downloaded this poem. When I said this poem said "Stay awhile", I wasn't being quippy. It really wanted me to swim through the waves and past the undertows. It wanted me to climb mountains and gaze at waterfalls. I needed to experience it fully to really understand what it meant for my life right now.
We never thought we'd stay. We thought we were called to head west in that moment and at that time. And we were crushed when we realized we needed to stay put for a season. Even though we know the call is still there. But even before that, we never planted roots. We are explorers at heart. Traveling outside the bubble and had our hearts and bellies filled with everything the the world had to offer.
After leaving the church we met at, we church hopped. A LOT. Until we found a "home church". But we felt like outsiders. We couldn't commit to serving. We used the west coast as an excuse and soon after, we left. Fast forward almost a year. Now we're at this new church with old (and new) friends. And it's refreshing.
But I wonder, if throughout all those years of church hopping to even now, if God has been yelling this poem at me from the top of the mountains. As if He was using a thunderous roar to get my attention until I finally listened. I had to stop for a second, surrender, and make room for a church body to become a resident in my life. While I know this poem is about fleeting relationships, and I can interpret this with false friendships and relationships in the past, I think it's telling me that "home" was always with Him. Not a place. Not a building. Nothing flashy. Not a show. It is honest and raw. It says "Come as you are. Welcome Home."
How could I be a tourist when I have found a home in Him? The longitude and latitude may change in the future. But for now, for this season, I'm here.