Louis sat on the outside looking in, and he would have done anything to cross the border between his old life and the promise on the other side. Everyone over there looked happy, there were ample supplies, and they seemed to have everything. He couldn't understand them. He was as much a stranger to them as they were to him; he was an alien and the dream of being a citizen unattainable.
Once in a while someone from the other side would come over to help his people. They would bring food and clothing; scraps of their wonderful life, and encourage them that they too could have a wonderful life. Few, however, invited them to come, and the ones who did often spoke in a language he didn't understand.
One day, Louis was standing next to the barrier, his nose sticking through. He was trying to squeeze as much as he could onto the other side. A big man yelled at him to get back, he was doing it the wrong way. He needed to get inline, get cleaned up, and start talking the right language before he would be accepted as a citizen.
Walking away Louis felt there would never be any hope. Until one day, a small kind, elderly women sat next to him. She was different then the people of his home. Her cloths weren't fancy and she spoke his language. Her presence made him feel a little uncomfortable, yet he was drawn to her gentle face.
"The king," she said. "Would like you to come to the other side."
"I can't." Louis replied. "I don't have the right cloths, speak the right language, and I don't know your customs."
"Don't worry, the king has taken care of those things. He just wants you to come." She offered again.
"But what of my family and friends?" Louis asked.
"They are welcomed too." She smiled. "Go and gather as many as you can and meet me by the gate." She stood and walked away, her step was slow, almost as if she were deliberately keeping a pace easy to follow.
Louis was excited and went to all his friends and family inviting them to join him in the beautiful country. He was disappointed when only a handful would join him. Most thought he was lying, others thought he was crazy, and still others said they didn't trust her and would find another way across.
His heart was heavy as he left his village, but the closer he came to the gate the higher his spirits rose. By the time he and his family reached the barrier, and the promise of a new life, the sadness of those who chose to stay behind vanished.
As promised the elderly woman met him at the gate. Louis stood as straight as he could, brushed the dirt off his cloths, and slicked back his hair. He wanted to present the best of himself.
She laughed and said, "you are fine the way your are, the King will provide everything that you will need." She welcomed the small band who came with Louis with the ease and grace of someone content and satisfied with life.
To his astonishment there were many others of her country who greeted them and embraced them warmly. Yet, he could see in the distance a few who wrinkled their noses at their shabby appearance, but they were in the minority.
"What is this?" He asked as the woman handed him a card.
"It is your credential." She replied and seeing the confused look on his face continued. "It is free, the king has paid your way. You are home."
A tear rolled down Louis' cheek as he read the words, one on each side, "Citizen and Family."
I'm just saying......
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God," Eph 2:19