Just before the close of the ceremony, the Judge addressed us. He first welcomed us as new citizens, taking time to acknowledge the arduous journey we had completed. He reminded us of our rights and responsibilities. He challenged us to remember who we were and from whence we came, he celebrated our diversity and thanked us for the richness that we would add to our new homeland. This was a one of a kind experience! After almost sixteen years, I finally feel like I belong. I’m an American.
Reflecting on the events of this most memorable day my wife shared this perspective: As she watched the events of the Oath Ceremony she said it made her think of the heavenly scene when one day people from all nations, tribes, kindred and languages will stand before the Judge of all the earth having come through “great tribulation”. She talked about the reception that we will receive on that day. The Bible says that he will cover us with his robes and we will know no more suffering, pain or death. What a day that will be when we finally reach our true home.
At Shawnee Mission we are enriched by our diversity and unified by our mission. One of the greatest needs of humanity is to feel a sense of belonging. Let us embrace and celebrate our diversity as we live out our mission.
Be a blessing.
Mark A. Stoddart, M.Div.
Administrative Director for Spiritual Wellness
Shawnee Mission Medical Center