Courtesy: Daniel Bramlett
We have a small crisis developing at our southern border. I’m sure you’ve all seen and heard the stories of all of the potential immigrants gathering and attempting to enter the USA by means other than the paperwork required. May I encourage you to look at this plight by way of the Word and history?
Our country is not the first to be inundated by refugees, but we have certainly seen our fair share. Whatever generation American citizenry you claim, you can bet you (and I) are a heavy mix of immigrant’s blood. A very few of us reading this article are originally from the North American continent. (Coincidentally, I would love to hear the comments/reactions to the border of some of our citizens of Native American descent!) What we are is a graceful mix of bloods and cultures and traditions from all over the globe. I don’t know how ‘pure’ you think your blood is, whether you are a direct descendant of fully law abiding royalty or not, but the odds are we have a few refugees in our lineage.
I don’t care how you feel about Mexico, Honduras, or any other nationality mixed in with this group of immigrants. It matters not to me if you agree with their politics or religious views. What I know is their people are hurting. They have gathered at our border with one message “Our home is broken and yours is not. Let us share!” This is where Jesus people work best! The world of the sufferer is our home field. We get it. We must not walk away from them now.
Guys, we live in a world that is saturated with pain and suffering. Since its inception this old world hasn’t known many moments of peace. Let’s see…there’s the Garden…well, that’s about it! We have been at war with each other, plagued by disease, responding to natural disasters, and carried away by grief since then.
Evil incites every ounce of this pain. Whether the pain is the result of poor choices or something entirely out of our control is of no matter to the sufferer. We can decipher that later. What matters at the point of desperation is genuine love and care. Only Christians can offer the healing love of God, the scarred hand of Christ, and the comforting balm of the Spirit. Pain meds don’t get the job done. Human compassion is nice in the moment, but it won’t last. Retreats are great until it’s time to reenter the real world. Only Christ can offer the sustenance required to make it through to the other side. Church, we are His Body. Nuff said.
I understand there is a lot of fear circulating around the mention of illegal immigrants. We hear our President’s language and get nervous. We’ve been here before as a nation. Remember the Japanese internment camps on our soil during WWII? How about McCarthyism? It has always been wrong to paint justice with a wide brush. It’s still not ok. I understand the motivation for the fear. No one wants to see terrorists cross our border. Nobody wants to lose a job to an underpaid worker. I am not advocating for legal action here. I am advocating for compassion on the part of the Church. We shudder at the thought of another 9/11, but isn’t there another emotion that is stronger than fear? Isn’t love our strongest trait? We like to scream at the top of our voices at political rallies that “We Are Christians!” What does it say about us when our first response to the hurting world is to push them away?
I know there are plenty of objections to what I’m saying. I’m not a politician. There are questions they have to ask that I never will. I can’t imagine the weight that is on our President right now. My point of view is that of a simple Christ follower. I don’t get to make the decision to refuse refugees or allow them entry. I get to make the decision to love the ones I see. Will I treat the ‘refugees’ in my world with contempt or will I embrace them? Will I love the least of these or will I turn them away. Most of us will not have the opportunity to touch the many who are gathered at our border.
For us in South Arkansas, my question is will we see them? Will we choose to ignore them or will we pray for mercy, compassion and hospitality to be shown? Will we act like the current situation doesn’t affect us because they are gathered a thousand miles away or will we ask God to bridge the gap between us and give us a heart that grieves for their broken situation.
Please forgive my naivety. This is just how I see it.
Courtesy: Daniel Bramlett