Sacred Stories | The Gift of Citizenship

“So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God.” – Ephesians 2:19

Our hospice patient was a refugee whose final wish was to become a U.S. citizen. The patient told me her name means “life” in her primary language. In her home country, she had a hard life of persecution, but she never complained.

One day, when I asked how she had slept the night before, she told me that here in the U.S., she sleeps well. She knows that no one will try to break down the door in the night to kill her, as had happened on multiple occasions in her country.

She had been waiting for years to become a U.S. citizen. After she entered hospice, we learned that her wish would become a reality. She entered the government building as a refugee and emerged as a citizen of the United States. She was glowing with pride, and we all celebrated her granted wish.

Those of us who have never lived in a country torn apart by war often take our citizenship and the freedoms that come with it for granted. She treasured her U.S. citizenship, and taught our staff to appreciate much of what we take for granted.

She loved the Lord, and a few weeks before she died, she told us how Christ had visited her in the night, which filled her with peace. She died free, as a U.S. citizen, and a citizen of God. A love for God was the legacy she left her daughters, grandchildren, and the hospice team that knew her.

This patient, whose name meant “life,” lived up to her name in every way, and received her citizenship in heaven.

Submitted by Mariam Adams

Questions for Reflection

When was the last time you were reminded of the importance of religious freedom?
Pause for a moment and consider 3 ways in which you are blessed today

About Sacred Stories

As CommonSpirit Health, we make the healing presence of God known in our world by improving the health of
the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable, while we advance social justice for all.

Sacred Stories convey ways our mission is being lived out by the gifted people in our ministry. We invite you to
use these stories for inspiration, as a meeting reflection, or to encourage discussion with your team.

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