Our relationship began with an exchange of mix-CDs. A year and a half later, our engagement night culminated with another mix CD. Needless to say, when “So I made you a playlist …” popped up in my G-chat on Friday, I was both intrigued and excited.
Date nights are a little different here in Lippo Cikarang. Our options are very limited, but we have certainly made the best of it. Cheap massages and Indian food mark almost every Friday night. This past Friday, however, we opted for Japanese, a bottle of wine, and the aforementioned playlist.
Two songs in, and I had it. Maybe not the whole narrative arc (as David called it), but I had a word. Home. These songs were about home. Looking for home. Wandering from home. Missing home. Yearning for home. And ultimately, finding home in unexpected places.
Before we moved to Indonesia, David and I embarked on what we called “The Farewell Tour,” visiting friends and family all over Oklahoma and Texas. One night in Oklahoma, a dear old friend gave me what has become one of my favorite keepsakes. Knowing I was moving away from everything known, save my husband, Carrie made me a frame containing a lyric from the sweet (although slightly overplayed) song “Home,” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.
Three months into our adventure abroad, I can certainly testify to its truth. In a place that doesn’t feel very much like home (especially considering it’s still 90 degrees in November, excuse me, I mean 32 degrees … Celsius), David is the closest thing I have to home. Regardless of location.
And yet even the sweetest marriage imaginable isn’t truly home. David mentioned the other night that living overseas has helped him identify with the myriad of characters both in the Old and New Testaments who leave their homelands and families in a faithful and obedient response to the call of God. Wandering is oftentimes the norm. We are meant to keep that tension and longing alive as we look forward to a future home, “whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10)
So it was only fitting that our playlist began with a song about Abraham.
The Far Country – Andrew Peterson
This is a far country,
This is a far country,
Not my home
Wayfaring Stranger – Neko Case
I am a poor wayfaring stranger
A-travelin’ through this world below
But there’s no sickness, toil, or danger
In that bright land to which I go
Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
And when that foghorn blows, I will be coming home
And when that foghorn blows, I want to hear it
I don’t have to fear it …
Give a Man a Home – Ben Harper
Have you ever worn thin
Have you ever not known where to begin
Have you ever lost your belief
Watching your faith turn to grief
Long Way Home – Tom Waits
Well, I stumbled in the darkness
I’m lost and alone
Though I said I’d go before us
And show the way back home
Is there a light up ahead
I can’t hold on very long
Forgive me pretty baby but
I always take the long way home
Night Train – Amos Lee
Nobody looks you in the eye here
Walking ’round with clinched fists
I’ve been searching for a simple place
Don’t know if it exists
Called Home – Over the Rhine
Just shy of Breakin’ Down
There’s a bend in the road that I have found
Take a left at loneliness
There’s a place to find forgiveness
Take Me Home Country Roads – John Denver
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
Take me home, country roads
Home – G.Love
Warm smell comin’ from the kitchen cookin’ it
Old folks sittin’ on the back porch lookin’ for
The time I get off of this train that keeps runnin’ me
Far from the place I long to be
Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Home is wherever I’m with you.