Born to Wander
by Michelle Van Loon
This ancient desire is at the heart of our wandering. We are all people who live in exile, sent from Eden to make our way through a world shaped by sweat and sorrow. The state of exile is as familiar to us as our own heartbeat.
A little reflection can reveal just how pervasive this state of exile is. Where do you experience exile most acutely in your life?
For some of us, it’s our family. Divorce, death, and dysfunction drive us from one another. Others recognize exile most clearly in our culture, as minority groups, who’ve experienced systemic injustice and unholy discrimination, find themselves on the outside looking in. Some of us find that the place that is supposed to be a community of love and welcome—our local church—has instead left us feeling like outcasts.
Each is a painful problem on its own. But at some level, these are symptoms pointing to the reality that our state of exile runs deep within each one of us. There is hopeful news, however. Exile is not a terminal point. It is not meant to be a destination.
Exile is meant to transform us into pilgrims.
Since coming to faith in Christ at the tail end of the Jesus Movement, Michelle Van Loon’s Jewish heritage, spiritual hunger, and storyteller’s sensibilities have shaped her faith journey and informed her writing. She is the author of five books, including Born to Wander, and is a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s women’s blog, In Touch magazine. Learn about her writing and speaking ministry by visiting her website, www.michellevanloon.com.