Cornerstone Magazine Spring 2014 - Page 12

EGGSHELLS What is home? My parents immigrated to the States from South Korea, I was born and raised in California, I go to university in Rhode Island, and I am now studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. I think some of the “go-to” answers of what a home might be are a physical address or a place to call your own; wherever loved ones are; an inner security or sense of belonging; or maybe home is simply wherever you spend most of your days. of belonging here. I get spoiled at Brown—the safest of all spaces with friends who will love me despite my ugly laughter and weird combo dishes at the Ratty. However, outside of Brown and outside of multi-ethnic Los Angeles, I am forever a foreigner in the eyes of Americans and Irishmen alike. It’s weird because I’m sort of stuck in a no man’s land. I’m neither fully Western nor Eastern, attached to but not able to fully identify with both. I don’t know if I’m ever really home. Last spring break I went on a missions trip to Atlanta with a team from my campus ministry group to serve the city and connect with fellow Christians there. One of the things that we did was visit a homeless shelter and have a chat with some of the people who were seeking refuge there. I had never realized before that a problem accompanying homelessness was not having a personal mailbox. Even the most broken down houses and apartments have mailboxes, so lacking property—and thus an address—is somewhat dehumanizing. It’s hard for people to reach you. There is a disconnection. It feels like eggshells. Always walking on eggshells. If I make a wrong move, the ground beneath me cracks and resounds uncomfortably, and people’s heads turn as they hear the echo of a foreigner’s shame. The Sunday school teachers were right when they said that Christians will never truly be at home on earth. We can make ourselves comfortable in the meantime with significant others, trophies and achievements, or Netflix (my personal favorite). But no matter how many Upworthy articles we read, it’s not hard to see that the world is broken. And so are we. Humans are capricious creatures, largely insensitive to the pride that blinds us. Strict reliance on knowledge and self-sufficiency is dangerous as memories betray us, logic escapes us, and morality comes to us in a culturally determined package. The qualities we value as highly sensible and upright have been passed down to us through cracked human vessels—parents, mentors, schools, governments, Disney films (yes, even Frozen), and so on. Thankfully, I’m in one of the dorms here at Trinity College Dublin and I do have an address. Mail is scarce but I’m grateful for whatever letters come my way (even if they are from the bank). I really like Dublin: the people are magnanimously friendly, the numerous food markets keep my belly full, and the architecture exhales history. But I’m having trouble finding my sense 12