When I was four years old I told my mom that I wanted to dye my hair black. It seemed to me like a good way to save a whole lot of bother. You see, at the time, we were living in South Korea, and I had blonde hair. White blonde hair. In Korea, everyone else had black hair.
The Korean people loved my hair! It was a new, unknown rarity. I stuck out. They loved it so much that they would often come up to me and want to touch my hair. They would come up to me and start petting it, feeling it, and pointing my siblings and me out to their friends and family. They would take pictures of us and with us. “Way-gu-ken! Way-gu-ken!” they would call out to their friends in the streets and point at us. “Way-gu-ken!”
Way-gu-ken is Korean for foreigner.
Guess what? If you’re God’s child, if you’re a Christian, you’re a Way-gu-ken, too. A foreigner. As clearly as Korea was not our native home, neither is Earth your home. We enjoyed our time in Korea, but we did not truly belong there. We stood out, whether it was our hair, our struggle to use chopsticks, or the language barrier we encountered. In the same way, as children of God, we do not belong on Earth. Earth is not our home.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. –Hebrews 11:13-16 (NIV)
There is so much truth in that passage! It reminds me of a quote by C.S. Lewis:
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
Heaven is our home! We will not be complete on Earth in any sense. We can be content in God, but we do not belong here. Even now, our citizenship is in Heaven!
We will not fit in here.
But will we stand out?
In Korea, my family stood out clearly because of our hair, because of our different culture, and because of our different language. What about us as Christians? Will we stand out because of our helmet of salvation, or because our way of doing things is different than the world’s way? Will we stand out because our speech is different than that of the world? We can. We should. Will we?
Do you remember how the Korean people could not resist touching my hair? They saw this new thing that stood out, and they were pulled to it. They wanted to touch it, take pictures of it, and show all their friends! The Bible says in John 13:35 (NIV) that:
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Will our faith, and our love be known to those around us? Will they want to find it, to imitate it, and to show all those around them this amazing love that they find in us from God?
I sure hope so!
Your sister in Christ,