It’s been a little over two months since we moved and I was desirous of not only getting an Illinois Drivers’ License but also registering to vote. So, I walked into the DMV the other day. I had most of the required paperwork, but I hadn’t been able to locate my Social Security Card. That put an end to that afternoon’s quest: no social security card, no way forward.

            The next day I went to the Social Security Administration office on Pioneer Parkway. After a little over an hour waiting for my number to be called I walked up to the window. I presented my completed application and my Nebraska Drivers’ License. After a few clicks by the affable fellow on the other side of the counter, he looked at me and said, “It would appear you’re not a citizen of the United States.” I’m sure my eyes got wide as saucers (an expression which most certainly dates me). “Do you have any proof that you’re a citizen?” I answered something about not much more than what he’d already seen, although I could get my State Department Birth Certificate created when I was born in Quezon City, the Republic of the Philippines. He shook his head. I was dumbfounded; what was I going to do as a 56-year-old undocumented alien? He then asked, “Do you have a passport?”

            Yes! I have a passport! Bingo, I’m back on track. I can bring it back tomorrow and continue the process.

            But that raised more questions. How did I get a passport without what the state of Illinois regarded as necessary proof? How had I lived so long without these difficulties? It also explained why I had to send in my birth certificate three years ago when I had another difficulty being approved for a certain status. 

            Thankfully, I got the same guy behind the counter when I returned this morning. He was very good-natured as he handed me my completed paperwork and congratulated me, “You are now a citizen of the United States!”

            The lessons I am taking away from this are: I have taken my status as a citizen of this country for granted; I am grateful for people who not only explain problems but also help to find solutions; and, I will need to find a better place to store my new Social Security Card when it arrives.

            We each have a citizenship in heaven by God’s grace (Philippians 3:20). It is easy to take such status for granted as we chug through each day, but my, what a precious thing it is as we reflect upon it. God has placed us in this communion both to keep one another accountable, but also to help restore one another (Galatians 6:1). Thankfully, it’s not a piece of paper which assures us we belong but simply the faith, engendered by the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross. It’s good to belong in this kingdom with you!