Awhile ago, probably around July 4th which is American Independence Day, David asked me, “do you identify more with Mexico or the US?”
And of course in my most sanctimonious tones, dripping with assumed humility, I replied that ohh dear brother, I’m a citizen of heaven.
All humor aside (no wonder I was never considered the funny one…) It’s a valid question. Despite being born and raised in Michigan, I’ve spent literally my entire adult life in Mexico. Critical character building and formation have occurred in both countries. There are things I love and appreciate about both. They each also hold difficult roads marked by painful growing. Yet I often feel like a stranger in both places. My values honed by third world living, I see the dark side of first world countries. Witnessing the constant struggle here, I wish they could get some developmental pointers and move forward. I understand culture that my personality can’t totally embrace. But, I do blitz a sautéd tomato and add it with powdered chile de árbol to our vegetable soup.
I don’t really fit in anywhere. Definitely in my own little world over here.
But last night, I had to admit that my Americanism was really shining through as I pulled my Canadian/Mexican husband into the vortex of electoral vote counting and compulsive colored map checking. We made a pot of tea, found our favorite news site, and settled in for the evening. Election inconclusive, we went to bed.
In the middle of the night he woke me with words like fraud and stopped counting and supreme court.
And I remembered what I’ve always known.
I really am just a pilgrim here. It’s okay to not fit in. Indeed, it is better not to! Every government, every country, battles corruption and dishonesty, political hypocrisy and power grabbing. Why waste an ounce of stress on a board whose pieces are moved by the Almighty?
I know I cannot be alone. All around the world, the news, the shelves in the grocery store, the strange new norms, tell us of political failure whether here in the North and South America’s or across the Waters to the four continents found there. It is easy to take sides, to feel justified in our opinions, to even campaign for what we see politically as good and right and necessary.
I try to feed my soul with beauty every day, beyond reading the Bible. It’s enjoyable to have a wide range of thoughts and focuses going at once, keeping this brain working on something beyond diapers and what’s for dinner (and the latest ugly headlines).
It so happened (well, not really. God is good) that the hymn I read during our family’s afternoon quiet time coincides with what I’ve been pondering all morning.
A pilgrim through this lonely world The blessed Savior passed; A mourner all his life was He, A dying Lamb at last.
That tender heart that felt for all, For all its life-blood gave; It found on earth no resting-place, Save only in the grave.
Such was our Lord, and shall we fear The cross with all its scorn? Or love a faithless, evil world, That wreathed His brow with thorn?
Dead to the world with Him who died. To win our hearts, our love, We, risen with our risen Head, In spirit dwell above.
By faith His boundless glories there Our wondering eyes behold; The glories which eternal years Shall never all unfold.Edward Denny
There is only one Kingdom, one Government worth fighting for. It is eternal, borne on His unfailing shoulder. It’s ruled with a rod of righteous and one of peace nonpareils.
Let us then take the lonely, deracinated path of our Savior’s pilgrimage. Walk forward with hearts filled with empathy and love for a broken world, but feet firmly planted in that other land, the one where the beauty of holiness shines from the womb of the morning and the Lamb is all the glory.