Archive for June 13th, 2013

In Christ, you’re a native of heaven right now.
You aren’t a citizen of here trying to work into heaven.
You’re a citizen of heaven trying to work through here.

– Ann Voskamp


Where is your citizenship?

We all have birth certificates and passports that declare where our home is, in the eyes of our individual ‘Caesars,’ but this life is short, and those legal documents declaring our Earthly citizenship do not take us into Eternity.

The citizenship of our Foreverland is stamped, in blood, and we do not have to fill out forms to apply, we simply have to be willing to receive. And once we receive, we have arrived, safe in the homeland of the kingdom of God that exists here and now, that exists for all eternity with Christ.

We have all had moments in our lives when we have felt that we were not quite there yet, as though our new passport has not arrived in the post, or we, like in the following story, have arrived at the border, the airport, the train station, the boat dock without proof of where we belong. We have all had times when, sitting around the board table, the pot luck table, the family dinner table, we felt like an illegal alien who does not fit, who does not belong … and oh, how we yearn to belong! Oh, how we yearn …

The yearning is a gift, a reminder, that we were made for a garden … and a garden was made for us.

But …

even when the weeds seem to strangle,
even when the soil is no longer rich but dry like dust,
even when the rains are washing away our crop …

this weed-infested,
I-don’t-know-what-to-do-next citizenship on sin-filled planet Earth …

is also created by the great garden tender, who also created us.

This is the kingdom

We are the kingdom-bearers

Children of the great high king

Ruler of heaven …

and Earth.

Even though we sometimes say to ourselves, “I can’t believe they let you in.”

And here follows a reminder about citizenship, by Ann Voskamp …

“Someone has to be that Mother.
That mother who drives a full 3 hours to the border with a packed mini-van and anxious kids and creeps through a 20 minute traffic backup under the hot, beating sun, only to rifle through her wallet and look up feebly to tell the custom’s officer she doesn’t have birth certificates for 2 of her children.
So that would be me.
“Do you have any ID at all — for either one of them?”
The custom’s officer asks it gently. Like he doesn’t want to push the flustered and flailing over any imagined or very real edge.
He glances back at the long snake of vehicles behind me, waiting. In the sun. That’s not moving either.
“Um… no.” I shuffle through my wallet again. “No, sir — I don’t.” Does the earth open up and swallow the Abiram of mothers?
“I’m so sorry, sir. If I can just turn around?” I close up my wallet and I can feel it up the neck, the face — the mother shame burning like a red-hot brand. How in the world? What kind of mother…. ?
I’m already cranking at the steering wheel, trying to get this mess turned around, thinking that when you can’t swallow down any grace, you turn yourself back from the land of the free.
“Just a moment, ma’am. Open up the door here.” He waves my passport in the direction of the van’s side door. I fumble behind me, try to unlatch it, still hoping the earth might open up instead. The officer pops his head in. “Birthdates, kids.”
Joshua states his month, day, year and Hope leans forward and I’m the realist who doesn’t hold out much hope at all.
The officer taps it into his computer, glances over at me, “And are they Canadian citizens?”
And I really try to say it like I’m not always a tentative Canadian, like it’s not a question, like I’m dubious, like I think he’s just gleefully extending the torture of my ineptness and embarrassment of not having one piece of paper to prove anything — because isn’t this the United States of America and when exactly did they start letting in hicks without a passport, without a birth certificate?
He looks up from the screen.
“Welcome to the United States, ma’am. Have a nice day.”
And he hands me my passport.
“Welcome?” Um … Really? “But if you let us into the States…” I stammer it out —”

And now click here, When You Sort of Feel Like You Don’t Belong, to read the rest. And for my family who knows they matter, there’s a rainbow at the end!

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