In varying degrees, we humans live as moving targets, trying to escape the existential grief of separation from God and others. This reality is at the heart of our wandering. Even if we have a relatively healthy family story, we all still experience the painful disconnect that comes from our uprootedness, our exile from Eden.
One of the big questions of life is “Who am I?” We may use physical, cultural, economic, or ethical responses to answer this question. While those externals can provide helpful clues to the question of who we are, they are not reliable reflectors of truth.
We are more than just the sum of our own life experiences. We also carry within us the exile history of our forebears.
I am a Jewish follower of Jesus. My people, the Jews, have been wanderers for a very long time. We’ve lived far from home throughout most of our history, dispersed among the nations of the world yet preserved as a people.
We’ve faced the Inquisition, waves of persecution, expulsion en masse from various countries, the pogroms in Russia, and the Holocaust.
To live as a member of a diaspora community means you are a part of a people group scattered from their ancient homeland. My people have been imprinted – perhaps all the way down to the cellular level – by generations of terror and trauma, by our diaspora experience. [Read more at Elisa Morgan’s blog]