Living outside of your passport country can often mean that the passport is promoted from an item found on the ‘holiday list’ – “check! it’s in the bag” – to being more like a wallet- it gets carried around all the time. Whether driving across town or driving to the next city, checkpoints may mean showing documents, and often the passport. Why? Well, of course, the authorities need to see that there is a valid visa in the passport. And then you leave the current country and go to another, well another visa is required. Just 10 days this time? Or will it be a full month? Certainly not longer – that’s not possible. The point that I’m trying to make is that passports and, more importantly, visas are part of an everyday reality when living outside of your passport country.
So returning home, even for a short spell, may feel slightly strange. You step off the plane, enter the airport, show your passport and… it will not be stamped – you can stay as long as you want. No need to show it to police at checkpoints. No need to count the days remaining on a visa and make travel plans. A feeling of the possibility of once more being settled and not having to seek permission to settle via the (oftentimes unsettling visa process!) sinks in again. Why? Because of a return to home.
How does this relate to being a ‘citizen of heaven’, as Paul puts it in Philippians 3:20? Being a citizen of heaven, are we expected to feel unsettled in the world and long for the settledness of being with God in … Heaven…? Continue reading