lunch with vanessa

a couple of days ago I had a nice lunch with my beautiful friend, vanessa.  vanessa is mixed too, half mexican and half caucasian.  we were talking about her recent trip to rome and she mentioned feeling like she fit right in with the italians because many of them had similar features and coloring.  she liked the feeling.  i felt that way once when i was in marmaris, turkey and someone, a native turk, actually thought I was turkish.  similarly, in college, i had a latino professor that asked if i was latina and was suprised when i said no.  these are only two of many instances i can remember.  it's amazing how good it can feel, however fleeting and false it may be, to be thought of as part of "the group." whenever i've been in a situation like this, where someone is smiling at me, ready to acknowledge me as being the same as them,  i've almost always had the urge to say, yes, i am!  yes, i do belong.  yes, i look like you.  yes, we see some of the same colors in the mirror every morning...
we all have this deep desire, don't we?  and i don't just mean physically. we long for this in all ways, to belong completely: physically, socially, spiritually, wholly.  as a christian, i know i belong to christ and have become a part of his family in ways that belonging to another group will never compare. my journey continues, however, to know deep down how all parts of me truly belong in this family, this side of heaven.  God has made my story hapa for a purpose.  and in the ways being hapa has given me feelings of otherness and such an obvious yearning to belong, it has led me straight to him.  i suppose these instances of longing to belong and the incompleteness of it that i feel here on earth are gifts.  they remind me i am longing for heaven, when all things will be finally complete in every way.  they teach me the importance of inclusion, of seeking to notice and care for others that may feel the weight of being foreign.
as for my lunch with vanessa, we connected in this similar longing of the mixed lot, and it was a tangible reminder that we are not alone, we do belong.