For the past 21 years, I have not had one ID specifying that I was Korean-American. While I did have my name printed in my Korean passport, it was not a form of ID I wanted to carry into restaurants or other public establishments. Now, instead of reaching for my pocket, I can reach into my wallet to show the waitress that I am eligible to drink a Guinness Draft.
Ordering a beer right now would be an appropriate celebration for this moment. My dad’s smile said it all. Beforehand, I would often respond, “No dad, it’s not your fault. You can’t blame yourself for something that happened 21 years ago. What’s done is done. Have faith that things will work out.” Dad, now look at me. I actually belong in the United States of America! No, I’m still not a citizen or a permanent resident, but I do belong here.
I belong because I know what it feels like to be displaced. In this season at church, we’ve been focusing on God’s agenda to breed family within a place called home. Before April 2010, I was a lost soul trying to run away from displacement. But the further I ran, I realized I was still displaced, but just in a different setting. Running away may mean that zip codes change, but that person’s orphaned spirit remains. From Korea town to Beverly Hills to Northridge, I tried finding a new sense of identity in these new locations, but my brokenness followed my tracks. It was then that God located me with God’s Perfect Sacrifice (GPS); he honed in on me; He wanted me to come back home; from that point forward, He seated me in heavenly places.
Therefore, my true joy is found through this double entendre: I belong. I will be in this country temporarily, but with Christ through eternity.