Each minute we live and breathe we are caught. Caught between languages, between cultures, between skin colours, between countries, between continents. On one side, we blend in easily, we remain indistinct and no one notices us, but on the other side, we still want to blend in, to remain indistinct, to not draw attention to our selves, but it is impossible.
Once, my high-school aged missionary kids and I were hanging out waiting for worship practice to start. But there was a school visiting and as they left, all of the kids stared at us. One of us commented, "This is how celebrities feel." and another one of us said "This feels like I'm an animal in a zoo." Two ways of looking at it...but we are caught, caught between wanting to blend in and the reality that we will standout in this "home" (to whatever extent that word applies) no matter how hard we try.
We are constantly caught between wanting to speak Luganda fluently, go to school with our friends, live lives like theirs but we never will. We don't have the right accent. We can't jump into the Ugandan school system now, we will probably have a larger house, a computer or a phone that our friends don't have. We will be inconvenienced when there is no running water, although for our friends they have never had it and never miss it. We are caught in the "home" in which we currently reside.
But back there...to the lands of electronics, hot showers, running water, strawberries and grapes we are still caught. Because we have friends there and friends here. We will never have them all in the same place. We know a bit of a language that only a few people in that land know. We have funny expressions, we get excited about eating things like...grapes...and ground beef twice a week. We know what starving looks like. We know what poverty is. Something that some of our friends in our "home" may not know.
So we are caught, between the two worlds in which we live. Caught between wanting to bring everyone we love together from both sides of the world no matter where they currently reside. Caught between wanting to running away from this complex, foreign culture in which we live to go to our "own" and staying in the place that we love. Caught not knowing where we belong with our strange ways of speaking, our mixed English-Luganda, our mixed culture, our mixed life.
I don't know what I'm trying to say in this. I don't want it to conjure up a bunch of sympathy for the poor missionary kids dragged around the world by their parents to foreign countries just to be lost in every culture.
I guess I'm saying that me, Kara, Kasana, Brevin, Jensen, Jeremiah, Christina, and all of the other missionary kids, we will never fit in. We will always be part-Ugandan-part Canadian/American/British/whatever else. Sometimes that is brutally hard, because we are caught in places where we really just wish we could fit in. But I think it is also an amazing gift, a diamond in the rough. To be caught in uncertainty to rely fully on our Creator, because to Him, it doesn't matter if we are Ugandan, Canadian, American or a combination. We are constantly caught, but I don't think it is always bad, because we have to lean on Him more, to trust in Him more, to realize that in uncertainty and when we are stretched, when we feel we don't even know our own culture, much less anyone elses, we know that we are headed to a place where we will never be caught between worlds and to a place where we will never be uncertain.