A few weeks ago we had the wonderful opportunity of attending our very first American Citizenship ceremony. Even though three of our family members have become American Citizens we were unable to attend their ceremonies.
When we were invited I pictured a line of people like at the Post office or a Restaurant during a holiday season. Imagine the surprise when we saw masses of people! And then our session was just the first one for the day!
If we were guests we had to be in a separate line across from the participants. And how great, now I could do one of my favorite things, people watching! Never a boring moment! There were eager faces, happy faces, excited faces, relieved faces. If we just paused to ponder how many stories we could create just from people watching!
As the two groups were ushered to the designated area the excitement mounted. We were very happy for our wonderful friend whom we had come to support; she had stood patiently in line as we snapped pictures and more pictures of her; and soon now this would be her long awaited moment.
We were on a balcony and I could not believe my eyes as I saw how many people had now been added to the large number of participants that had stood outside. Pictures of prominent landmarks and symbols in America rolled by on the screen; cameras were flashing in every corner, the names of every country were called and their natives stood. I could feel the tears rolling down my eyes. Has it really been twenty five years since I left everybody and everything I ever knew? How come I had not made a decision for a change in my status from Resident Alien to American Citizen? Didn’t take the time? Not sure of where I would love to live permanently?
I believe my emotions were so deep that day because I pictured also the crowd that John the Revelator talks about in Revelation 7:9 “And after these things I looked and behold, I saw a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes…”
The great news is that whether I become an American Citizen or not I am reminded of the encouragement from the Apostle Paul to the Philippians “For your citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” Philippians 3:20. Now there’s a status worth waiting for! By God’s grace alone!