Where are You

Where are you? It’s the question that echoes up the stairs every day in our home. Our home isn’t very big, but when our daughters are playing and looking for us, or when we are looking for them, we shout out, “Where are you?” Usually we hear the nondescript reply, “I’m here!” It doesn’t say much about where, but it does say that everyone is ok, and that they are at least somewhere in the house.
Starting out a new year invites us to ask this question of ourselves. Where are you? Are you where you expected to be in life? Our initial thought is to ask the big questions of relationships, family, and career. Have we achieved all our goals from last year, or have we or gotten all that we set out to get?
But the “where are you?” question might be about something better than goals and achievements. It might be the question that has us wondering about all the ways we’ve been found. When my daughters holler out, “where are you, dad!?” they shout because they expect a reply. They know they are not alone in the house, they have someone who cares for them, and who is able to answer them.
In the opening chapters of the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve run and hide. They are ashamed. They realize they are naked, and the ate from this mysterious tree. Into this story God comes through the Garden of Eden and calls out, “where are you?” Early on in this story God is looking for those stuck, disappointed, ashamed, and unsure. He comes looking for them, even as they hide.
We are all looking to be found, to be welcomed back, to be included, and seen. Our communities are places where we can begin to respond to our big “where are you?” life questions. There is an immediacy to the response we get from those closest to us. From our family, friends, neighbours, and community we often get a warm response and a smile, “there you are!” We are found by those who have been with us all along.
When I was a boy my sister and I got lost in a shopping mall. We were not really lost, we just didn’t hear our mom’s instructions and so we went off on our own and thought we were out of sight, and probably lost forever. Ten minutes of panic turned into relief when our mom came to us. Not lost, but found; never far from someone who knew the way.
Where are you as you enter 2023? Do you feel listless, restless, at home, safe, or anxious? Do you have a master plan for the year, or do you barely know what day it is? Wherever you are, and however you feel about where you’ve found yourself, may you know that you are not out of sight. Sometimes all we have to say is, “I’m over here.” Even if we don’t know where “here” is. We’ll find each other, yet.

About the author

Preston Pouteaux

Preston Pouteaux

Preston is a pastor at Lake Ridge Community Church in Chestermere and experiments mostly in the intersection of faith and neighbourhood. Into the Neighbourhood explores how we all contribute to creating a healthy and vibrant community. Preston is also a beekeeper; a reminder that small things make a big difference.


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