the children are crying out to us

imagine: in the middle of the night, you hear a knock at your front door. you see that it is a child in distress. do you open the door? do you try to hear from her why she is alone? do you let her in out of the cold and try to help her? if she were your daughter, wouldn’t you want someone to help her?

it would take a cold hearted person to talk to her only through the intercom saying, “get off my property and go back to the street from which you came. your parents should have never lost sight of you.”

we are in this situation right now.

the children that are crossing the southern border of the usa are precious, vulnerable, scared and hurt human beings that need care. when we lose sight of that they are real children in need of human compassion and basic care, we lose our own humanity. also, we diminish our faith because jesus taught us, “when i was a stranger, you welcomed me.” (matthew 25: 38ff) this is how we are called to love those who come to us in need.

real people are more important than ideologies– not matter how honorable the ideological principles might be.

i believe in love and the awesome power that it holds. in these scenarios, i believe in love that is both intention and act. in its fullest sense, love is the intention to do the good and the act to actually do it. to me, this is the litmus test: what are our intention for these children? what is actually happening in our actions for these children? is “welcome” a foundation of our intentions and actions?

the former administration’s homeland security policy for the border was a disaster. the intent was to build a stronger wall to deter people from crossing. unaccompanied minors were not treated as children who needed care but cattle who needed to be corralled. there has been a crisis in mexico with all of these central american refugees and migrants waiting in squalid, inhumane conditions for these past years in the border towns. “unwelcome” was our foundation in both intention and actions.

with the change in presidency, there is now a new hope for those wanting to cross into the usa. they have heard through their conversations, that biden will welcome refugees.

more children than ever are showing up on our doorstep. almost 19,000 during march. everybody–border patrol, facilities, social workers, medical personnel– — is overwhelmed by this surge in people. the detention and social care infrastructures in place cannot handle the sudden jump in. they are scrambling to find temporary solutions to address the immediate needs of these children.

in a word, the current administration has the right intention for these children but the current situation has serious challenges because of the sheer number of children that are at our doorstep. we need to see rapid progress in our care for these children. they are already psychologically, emotionally damaged–will we alleviate their conditions or make it worse by the way we treat– or not treat them?

predictably, some politicians are using the situation for political gain. whenever this happens, people– and in this situation children– suffer. ideology can become more important than the real suffering of innocent children; real people, even children, become dehumanized.

we live in a great country with so many blessings. who else could better respond to this “crisis?” is not this an opportunity to show the world that the usa cares about children? or will the world continue to see a usa that rejects the most poor and vulnerable?

i cannot help but think that if these kids were blond haired with blue eyes and showed up at our door, our response would be very different. are we really destined to be only emotionally invested when the other person looks like me? are our black and brown brothers and sisters always going to be relegated to dehumanization because of racial ideologies that protect the white majority? does fear paralyze us even when a crying child is at my door?

i choose to think that we are better than that– not because of who we are, but because of who God is.

i believe that the Spirit will continue to lead and guide us our of our fears and selfishness into love. i believe that the Spirit will bring us healing at all levels and spur us to be instruments of well being for one another. i believe that the Spirit will help us recognize our common humanity and respond with goodness and compassion. the Spirit will help us to love.

but only if we open ourselves to the Spirit of Good, have grace change our hearts and then our intentions and actions.

i am not expecting this on any grand scale. greed, pride and selfishness are strong forces in our world that work against our intentions and acts toward the common good. unfortunately, even when children suffer at our door.

little boys and girls are tearfully knocking at our door. how will we respond?

let us pray

Lord help us to purify our intentions to do good in your world; help us to love authentically. we lift up the little children at the border to your sacred heart. may your Spirit lead and guide us to do your will and care for them. allow our hearts to know that you are present in these our young sisters and brothers and that by ministering to them, we are loving you as our God.

===

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” matthew 25: 31ff

2 Comments

  1. DC says:

    Yes. And because you have walked that border, much wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. frarthurcmf says:

      people respond when they personally know/see something. unfortunately, the vast majority of people do not see thus cannot care for these children in the fullest sense. the indifference hurts the kids– and us

      Like

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