Unwinding the housekeys from my keyring, three days ago, I traveled back in my mind to the time before I received them. It was more than three and a half years ago, and I was about to finish grad school. I did not know the answer to the question, “What is your post-graduate address?” When the question was settled, and the little silver key was placed in my hands, I celebrated.
“What’ll your overseas address be?” That question has given me pause the past few days. I unwound the housekey for my New York apartment before I had the replacement in my hands, before I knew what my address would be. I left behind a few other keys– from the fellowship where I led worship, from the car that carried me. Dear friends prayed, laughed, ate, sang, packed, cried, celebrated with me. And I waved goodbye from the far side of airport security.
Only 20 hours later, I was here in the Middle East, at the door of my new apartment. A new silver key was in my hand. While I’m excited to be settling in well so far, I stepped into a world that is bringing surprises in unexpected places– even in my own home. Three small examples of familiar things that took on a new dimension for me since my arrival last night:
- Songs– As I was unpacking today, and listening to Brian and Katie Torwalt’s worship song “I’m a Lover of Your Presence“, the call to prayer resonated loudly underneath it from a nearby mosque.
- Rain– This city does not get it more than a couple of times a year, but it came today. It left a damp, dusty smell, and prompted the kids upstairs to run excitedly outside to catch a glimpse of it.
- Recycling– It turns out this city does not do it at all!! EXCEPT at the community center’s project that turns peoples’ trash into amazing jewelry (while also employing local people. E-mail me if you want to find out how to get involved).
P.S. I still don’t know my address.