A Faith-Filled Response to a National Crisis
SPOILER ALERT: This blog is about the kids, not the politics.
I feel I have to say that, because the inordinate degree of media coverage of the current crisis on our southern border has focused on things that divide us as a people, not things that unify and inspire us.
We see gun-toting anti-immigration groups interfering with bus loads of destitute Central American children fleeing violence in their homelands and trying to enter our country without proper legal documentation.
We see signs held aloft–have you noticed how many of them have misspellings?–denouncing immigrants in general, a persistent strain of American nativism dating back to the late 18th century.
But weren’t we a nation founded by men and women fleeing persecution and poverty? The Pilgrims and the Puritans? The Irish and the Italians? The Chinese and the Jews? I’m afraid all this media coverage of the ugly and the negative only serves to push our national buttons.
I have no idea what the policy solution to our immigration problem is, and if I did I certainly wouldn’t advance the argument here. I do ask myself the question, as I usually do when I don’t have an answer, what would Jesus do? And I don’t think he’d be raising his middle finger or waving a gun or a misspelled sign and impeding YMCA buses.
Thankfully, I am not the only one asking that question. It is a shame that we do not hear more about the churches and people of faith who have rallied to the aid of these suffering children, groups of all political persuasions, the left and the right, whose response has not been hostility but compassion.
Our friends at World Vision, Save the Children and Catholic Charities are supplying food and shelter. The Texas Baptist Men are providing laundry services to kids who haven’t worn clean clothes in weeks.
People and towns are opening up their homes, donating blankets and toys. Whatever laws they are breaking by crossing our borders, these children faced a horrific ordeal to get here; some didn’t survive it.
They are frightened, they are alone and they are in need, and whatever their fate ultimately is, our first response should be caring and loving. These children are not the enemy. Drugs and violence, politics and greed are.
“The need is massive,” pastor Chad Mason of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, Texas, told The Christian Post. “The goal is to do the best we can to serve with the heart of Christ in Matthew 25.”
We don’t hear enough of that on the news. Something tells me that Pastor Mason can spell.
More than 50,000 unaccompanied children, most from gang-ridden Central America, have arrived at the border in the past eight months seeking refuge and asylum.
Many if not most will eventually be sent back to their countries of origin. I don’t know if that is best or not. I do know that countries may rightfully have borders, but Christ’s love does not.
From a revised Ben Hur to a brave Army vet to gospel singer Wintley Phipps, there's inspiration aplenty in this issue of Guideposts.