Tūrangawaewae (pronounced too-rung-are-why-why) is a well-known and foundational Māori concept. Literally tūranga (standing place), waewae (feet), is often translated as ‘a place to stand’. Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel especially empowered and connected. They are our foundation, our place in the world, and where our hearts feel at home.
As a Pakeha (a New Zealander of European descent) I often admire how Maori are so connected to their turangawaewae and to their ancestors. As for me, I trace my roots back to England and Scotland and to be honest I haven’t done a lot of research about where I’ve come from.
What strikes me about the concept of turangawaewae is the unwavering belief of empowerment and connection. There is a beautiful Maori proverb that captures this:
Māku e ringiringi ki aku roimata nga ara e ahu ana ki te kāinga
(I will water with my tears the trails that lead to home.)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I stand with what I believe. As a Christian I believe with all my heart that I am part of God’s Kingdom and that’s where I stand and what I most strongly identify with.
I’ve spent some time putting some words together to describe my turangawaewae – what I believe, my creed, and my place to stand. These are my words that lead me home now and into eternity. Maybe you can identify with some of these words too. Perhaps you’d like to be brave, take a stand, and share your place – where you stand as a comment on this post. I’d like to hear your thoughts. They may help others take a stand.
A Place to Stand
I believe Jesus came to earth
To baptise and to heal.
I believe He died for my sin
This much I know is real.
I believe in the resurrection
On that third and glorious day.
I believe in the empty tomb
That He rose from and walked away
I believe He went to heaven
Where He sits at God’s right hand.
I believe he sent me his Spirit
This much I understand.
I believe that nothing
Can seperate me from His boudless love
No creature from the dark below
Or any from above
I believe that one day He will return
With a call for me to heed.
I know He’s prepared a place for me
This is my steadfast creed.