Palm trees belong in the tropics, right? But this palm lives in Ferndale, Washington, outside a Mexican restaurant. On this day, as I sat with a dear friend for lunch, we looked out the window and lo and behold, the palm had icicles hanging off its fronds. It reminded me of how often I feel like I am living outside my element, wondering what is happening. And sometimes, I feel like that palm tree, looking like everything is alright, I am green and standing tall, but covered in ice, uncomfortable, wishing I were someplace else.
The process of “becoming a Christian” – that is becoming the person we know we’ve been called to become – can be challenging. It can take us out of our element, so to speak. It can take us to places we don’t really want to be and in conditions that make our lives uncomfortable. But even in those times, we can bring joy and comfort and hope to those around us. I imagine the owners of this particular restaurant miss their homeland and like the reminders of their roots and their history.
We, too, can be that connection with a different “home” for others. We can be the reminder and the call to remember and return home for those who have wandered and find themselves in a strange place far from their eternal calling. I am learning that my heart is only at home when I am in the presence of my Heavenly Father, my Papi. I am learning that this is not just words, but a living reality – far more real than this broken world in which my body currently resides. And I am loving the life that comes when I am focused and intentional in my living intimacy with this Almighty God – creator of all things!