Kingdom Of God
For eleven years a man named Merhan Karimi Nasseri was a man without a
country. For eleven years he lived in a Paris airport. He had no passport. He
had no citizenship. He had no papers that enabled him to leave the airport or
fly to another country. He had been expelled from his native country of Iran.
Then he was sent away from Paris, France, because he lacked documentation. He
said his Belgian-issued refugee document had been stolen. He flew to England but
was denied entry and sent back to Paris. When he was returned to the Paris
airport in 1988, airport authorities allowed him to live in Terminal 1, and
there he stayed for eleven years, writing in a diary, living off of handouts
from airport employees, cleaning up in the airport bathroom.
Then in September 1999 the situation reversed. French authorities presented
Nasseri with an international travel card and a French residency permit.
Suddenly he was free to go anywhere he wanted. But when airport officials handed
him his walking papers, to everyone's surprise, he simply smiled, tucked the
documents in his folder, and resumed writing in his diary. They found he was
afraid to leave the bench and table that had been his home for eleven years. As
the days passed and Nasseri refused to leave, airport officials said they would
not throw him out of the airport, but they would have to gently and patiently
coax him to find a new home.
Can you imagine a more unnatural home than an airport? It is bustling, it is
interesting, but it is not home. When we come to Christ, we have a move to make
that can be as frightening as the move Alfred had to make from the airport. We
are beckoned from the unnatural home of the ways of this fallen world to our new
home: the ways of the kingdom of God. Don't hold back.