And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58 NRSV cf Mt 8:20)
Yesterday we let go of the last of our possessions, including our house and our car. It was a strange feeling walking to our friends’ house for dinner without keys in our pocket or a place to call our own. We’re staying with friends just down the street, but we have to rely on our legs or the generosity of others to get around. We have only what we will be taking to Training in Pennsylvania and ultimately to Bolivia. We will be a suitcase family, traveling from home to home and place to place, dependent on the kindness of others. It’s an uncomfortable place for privileged people accustomed to self-sufficiency and independence. It has been a long journey, a learning process, for us to arrive at this particular moment, where we can step out in faith and be carried by others trusting in God’s grace and provision.
Even as we are experiencing this strange transition, I am aware that even the ability to give our possessions away and move to Bolivia is a privilege. We are not homeless the way many of our neighbors are homeless. We do not sleep on the streets and we are not hungry. All of our needs will be taken care of between now and the moment sometime next year when we settle into our new home.
It is easy for us to go to Bolivia and come home. It is much more difficult for our Bolivian brothers and sisters to do the same, or for our neighbors in Waco or our undocumented friends. Their journey has been dangerous and difficult. For them there is no hope of going home. They cannot travel freely. They made a choice and no matter what, whether remaining in the United States, or getting deported, they will have to deal with the consequences. We do not face those consequences. As difficult as it will be dragging car seats, luggage and two small children through many airports, it does not compare to those who cross borders against laws and wishes of others into strange lands that both invite them and marginalize them.
Hopefully, I’m learning how to live into this world as a person of privilege.