My heart is still heavy as I write this, and words cannot adequately express my sorrow, anger and shame. Our country has sunk to a new low with the recent immigration crisis – innocent children separated from their families who had illegally crossed our southern borders.
I don’t understand politics and all that goes on in Washington but I do understand when children cry. I do understand when children are frightened. I do understand when only a parent can comfort their child. What we have done to these families is just plain wrong! Thank God the practice has stopped for now, but the effects and trauma of what we have done to those children and their families will linger long after the news media moves on to another hot topic.
By the time this reflection is printed we will have celebrated the 4th of July, Independence Day here in the United States. What does that freedom really mean to us? Do any of us white, middle class Americans really know what it means not to be free, to live in fear for our safety and that of our families? Do we have any idea what makes families willing to endure almost anything to be safe and free? We might learn something if we truly listened to them instead of treating them as criminals.
We are all God’s children, no matter what color we are, what race we belong to, what religious beliefs we hold. None of us were given a choice as to the color of our skin or in what country we would like to be born. We are all members of the human race. Why are we so afraid of each other? Why are we so afraid of our differences?
The United States has always been known to open its borders and its heart to the poor, the immigrants, the refugees, those seeking safety, shelter, asylum, and a better way of life. How many of us would be here today if our grandparents and great grandparents were not allowed in? I know I wouldn’t be. I would be living in Germany, assuming my grandparents would have survived World War I.
God’s children are crying all over the world, not just in the detention centers a few weeks ago in Texas. And we, in our arrogance, our selfishness and our fear are turning a deaf ear to their cries. But God hears, and if we truly profess to be followers of Jesus we better hear too and start opening our hearts to everyone, especially the “least of our brothers and sisters” as Jesus called them.
I believe we are at a turning point in history, and if we don’t change and try to effect positive, life-giving change in every way we can, we will not know the United States of America as the land of freedom and opportunity much longer. As Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”