The conversation is being had right now about children who are separated from their families due to the immigration process. Now, I know that this first sentence has already caused a response inside. You are either ready to stop reading, or you are compelled to keep going. I truly hope the latter is true.
The hard part about this argument is the fact that we instantly go to the idea of “illegal immigration”, when the conversation should be pointed toward the seeking of asylum. These parents, and other adults, are running from something. Yes, not all, but most are.
There are children who are being hurt in the process. This is the bigeest issue at hand, in my opinion. We have children, who have no control of the situation, who are being brought across the border to seek a better life. They may be being used, or they may actually be the children of the people who are being detained. We don’t know the full story.
Whatever the situation might be, these are still children. Children who are being influenced by the decisions of adults. Whether it is the adult bringing them across or the adults who are making decisions to place them on concrete floors without soap, adults are making the decisions for them. These children are hurting.
What bothers me the most is the fact that there are Christian people who sit back and say, “Well, if they didn’t want the children to be in this position, they shouldn’t have broken the law.” Again, not all of them are breaking the law.
There are Christians who are saying, “Well, this is our country. We need to protect it.” Is this really our country? Where is our kingdom? Where are we really supposed to be protecting? The image of God and the kingdom of God should be our answer, if we claim Christianity. When we are making claims like the statements I have mentioned, we are turning away those who are made in the image of God and claiming a kingdom that we do not own or belong to.
What does this all mean?
I don’t have all the answers. I also won’t write too much trying to claim I do. However, I will say, before we jump to pushing these people away or ignoring the issue, may we turn to scripture and see what God would want our hearts to do.
...before we jump to pushing these people away or ignoring the issue, may we turn to scripture and see what God would want our hearts to do.
The Good Samaritan is a parable Jesus told to speak about loving our neighbor. The Samaritan is actually the one who helped a Hebrew man who was beaten and left for dead. He was ignored by religious leaders and people who were like him. He needed help and an unlikely helper came on the scene and saved his life.
What if we are supposed to be the unlikely helpers? Actually, take away the what if, we are supposed to be the unlikely helpers. What if the people we turn away are supposed to be our unlikely helpers? Again, take away the what if, they are unlikely helpers.
Another instance, Jesus is eating dinner with a Pharisee, and a sinful woman came into the dinner and began to weep and wash Jesus’ feet with her tears. She then proceeded to pour a jar of expensive perfume over Him to anoint Him in the house.
Jesus asked the Pharisee if he saw the woman. What a powerful question. Do you see this woman, in her brokenness and her pain, and do you see that you should be welcoming her in? She took steps to acknowledge who Jesus was and is. She needed to hear His words, “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” The people who are running. The children who are stuck in cages. They need us to see them.
They need us to see their humanity. They need us to see the image of God in them. They need us to remember what kingdom we claim and what hope we carry. They need us to remember they are our neighbors, and they may need us to be an unlikely helper to save their life.
The children need us. We cannot ignore their struggle. Their mental health needs us to step in and care. They need to see a “Christian nation” (If that could even be a thing), step up and do what Christ would have done: Welcome in the broken and lost and point them to rescue.
That’s the heart of our Savior and it should be our heart if we follow Him.