Where are you from?

We just moved cross-country, and so I'm getting this question a lot lately. Nobody asks you that question without a reason. Maybe you stumbled into the local bar (or church) where everyone knows everyone...except you. Sometimes, when its really awkward, you're like Ariel combing her hair with a dinglehopper (a dinner fork). You get a strange look and they ask in that special tone, "Where are you from?"

What do you say when people ask you, "Where are you from?”

  • "I'm from around here." A few rare people we meet still live in the same town they grew up in. Like people from Omaha or Niceville. Natives. Usually their family still lives there too. They are from the earth they currently inhabit.

Others, especially military or missionaries, look puzzled when asked that question the first few times.

  • Some stumble a bit and then list the hodgepodge of where we were born, grew up, went to school, etc. We try to claim scraps of belonging here and there. (I'm in that camp. I say, "Well, I am from Texas but lived in Colorado longer than anywhere." Now I say, "I'm from Florida...and Colorado...and Texas...")
  • Some have rehearsed the answer to that question and say smoothly, “I was a military kid, so I grew up pretty much everywhere.”
  • And then the last group says, “I was a military kid, so I am not really from anywhere.”

That one is always hard to respond to. It either leaves you oddly uncomfortable or with more questions. Depending on their tone of voice I suppose.

But there is something of heaven that the last bunch understands clearly.

We aren't from here.

Even if you are "from here," you aren't really.

“Where are you from?”

“Well, I'm a Christian, so I'm really not from here.”

They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. -Hebrews 11:13-16