Feeling like no one “gets you” can be difficult and painful, no doubt about it. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it. My last post was written after DH and I had spent a few days away from each other, and I was feeling lost. As much as I hate to be so reliant on another person (hey, my nickname has always been “Miss Independence,” and my tagline is, “I can do it myself!”), he is my greatest ally -- the one who makes me feel “normal,” the one who understands my opinions and preferences, the one who swims against the tide with me. When I am with him, I am different but I am safe and supported.
When I said in my last post that I felt that I don’t even belong on this planet, I realize that feeling is not new-to-the-world either. In Hebrews, Paul* described people of faith as being “strangers and foreigners on the earth” who “desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Heb. 11:13-16 NRSV). Regardless of who we are or what characteristics we possess (or don’t), we believers are all aliens here. My hope is that someday we will find ourselves in a place where we do belong and that those elements that once isolated us will no longer matter.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis describes this in a way that moves me every time:
Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.
I don’t fit in here, but that’s OK. I’m not meant to.
*I know there is some dispute about the authorship of the letter to the Hebrews. Here I am following the tradition I was taught in my theology classes.