In the United States, usually when one says “I’m French” it means: “my grandmother was born in Canada”. And doesn’t “a Latin person” call to mind “Hispanic” from the Americas?
My family comes from the other side of the Atlantic. We are French, from Italian and Spanish descent. We are Mediterranean, Latin and European. We don’t speak, we yell and our hands speak. We like our weather hot and our food spicy. We don’t hug, we kiss on both cheeks, we drink too much and exaggerate everything. See how my Latin side is taking a hold of me as I’m using “we” instead of “I” in this paragraph.
Though my blood and heart are Latin, I was able to blend in the nation that invented the concept of personal space. Maybe it is due to my melancholic temperament. Usually people say that I am quiet and reserved. Often my blood is boiling but through prayer, I have learned (am still learning) to let go and focus on something greater than my natural inclinations.
Who am I? A French woman, a pale skin Latin European? According to my immigration status, I am a U.S. person and I remain a French citizen. The truth is that I don’t belong to a country, a political system, people or language. I am trying to adjust to the place where I live and will give others personal space, hugs or cover my head if it is socially expected.
But our life on this earth is just a passage and we won’t know our true home until after death, when God stops all the clocks and there are no more borders, race and language. No more trying to fit in, to impress or comparing ourselves to others. God has prepared a land where we truly belong, where no needs, no worries trouble us anymore. A land where we LIVE the way life was meant to be lived, where everything is revealed in His Light.
We don’t choose our family roots but we can choose to work for peace and justice daily, to extend God’s love to the poor, to the victim and even to the tormentor. Before being French, I belong to God who has numbered all the hair on my head and yours. What matters is not our identity on Earth but to put our hope in the Tree of Life that saves us from ourselves.