Every year on the 4th of July I enjoy the patriotic songs and fireworks. In a big park covered by a big crowd, as I watch the red, blue, white fireworks imaging the national flag in the night sky, I appreciate this country that has been kind and reliable since I moved here.
Honoring the Independence Day, we sang “God Bless America” at the church worship service last Sunday.
“God bless America, Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her, thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam,
God bless America, my home sweet home.
Singing the song, I thought; indeed I love this country. I felt the strong affection to this country more than ever. Probably it is not because I have lived here for long, but because I have many dear people I can call family members or friends here in the U.S..
“ How are you doing?” “I think about you and pray for you,” they have said to me each time they have seen me since I got cancer. When I received bad news, they put their hands on my shoulder and prayed for me. When I was in bed because of chemo, they brought food or sent a cleaning lady. When I received good news, they gave me big hugs saying, “ I am so happy for you!”
As I step into the church that is surrounded by countless trees and flowers and the grand ocean, over which schools of birds glide peacefully, people welcome me with big smiles. My heart is filled with joy, peace, and comfort immediately. I came back to a God’s House—I feel so.
I am blessed to have families and friends in both Japan and the U.S.. Yet, I am greatly thankful that I could even find God behind those beloved people. Since then, either for good times or bad times, I can leap into His big arms. For me the sweet home is where I can find such a church.
The land of Japan where I grew up, the land of the U.S. where I have been accepted, protected, and loved are precious to me, but most of all I love my Lord who has orchestrated everything because He loves me so tenderly.