I have not spoken out about the immigration issue so far and I know so many people are urging/pushing spiritual leaders to step up and take a stand. I’ve written at least five different posts. I’ve read so many articles, watched so many videos. I’ve been scouring scripture for direction in terms of wording and wisdom. But all I can say is I haven’t yet felt okay about pushing that ‘post’ button.
Not because I’m afraid of people unfriending me, but because I feel like this issue has too many tentacles to reduce into a paragraph, written by a pastor with a teaspoonful of information and a truckload of passion.
I don’t want to add to the noise unless it will be helpful and it seems like most of the online arguments I’m reading only serve to further entrench people in their already-held opinion.
But the other night, as I was snuggled up with my grandsons on the couch (they were watching Captain Underpants, which is slightly inappropriate but hilarious and I hope I’m not in trouble with their parents), I ran into the audio of kids crying for their parents. I’ve been a mom long enough to recognize the sounds of terror-through-tears.
You recognize it, too, even if you’ve never been a mom.
I kept looking at my little guys, imagining the unimaginable. How our hearts would break. How their lives and mindsets and worldview would be impacted by that ONE moment. It made me wish that EVERY one of those kids could be sitting on a sofa with someone who loves them; someone they know would fight for them, die for them. How truly, terribly fortunate my sweethearts are to have been born on this soil, breathing freedom as a birthright (and please don’t correct me here to the word “blessed”, which would imply that Jesus loves Finn and Greyson more than He loves the kids with no couch to call home.)
It astounds me that this is not happening in the outer reaches of countries I can’t find on the map; it’s happening here in the land that I love. The home of the free is putting children in cages? That can’t be right.
And then I read the arguments from people defending President Trump (because I haven’t heard anyone defend the practice, just the President’s role in it.) Many said it’s not his fault – W started this; Obama continued it. Many said this is just a conspiracy to turn people against him. Many said those kids have it better in our cages than they do in their homes. Some argued that “kids in cages” is inflammatory and inaccurate – they are “detention cells.”
One said: America is a nation of laws and we don’t get to follow the laws we like and change the ones we don’t. (Note: America is a nation of PEOPLE and we certainly DO get to change the laws we don’t like if enough of us don’t like them. That’s precisely why women get to vote and rich people can’t own poor people.)
Most said this situation isn’t perfect, but what else are we going to do? The parents brought it on themselves, and their littles by extension.
All those arguments have points of interest. But I don’t care about them. In fact, I think those arguments are some of the most dangerous threats to our humanity, because they give us the semblance of a cause and it takes precious mental, emotional and physical energy to defend our causes – even the unworthy ones. Especially the unworthy ones.
I’d like to suggest that by the time we’re arguing over the definition of a “cage”, we’ve well and truly lost sight of the point. And when we make this primarily a referendum against our president, we’ve equally missed the point.
The more energy we invest in blaming someone or defending someone else or throwing our hands up in despair because this problem is just TOO BIG for us, the less energy we’ll throw where we need to throw it – indeed, the ONLY place our energy can flow that I think honors God: finding a solution.
We, the nation that sent men to the moon, can certainly find a way to send children to sofas where they can be safe, be loved, be children.
We must stop barking and blaming and start thinking and giving and loving.
We must invest at least the amount of creative heat to making the world a better place for children that we invest in making memes for Instagram. Even if our constitution doesn’t demand it, our Bible does.
So, what I think we need right now is hope. Hope and a holy agitation to turn this friction into traction. Hope that we can be a part of something new and beautiful and exciting and generational.
I started by giving to www.togetherrising.org. 100% of their donations are going to secure lawyers for unrepresented children, with a goal of reunifying them with their parents. I’m asking Jesus for more ideas to help bring hope and change. If you have them I’d sure love to hear them. I don’t really want to hear your arguments…but I absolutely DO want to hear any plan – no matter how crazy it may seem – for helping these beautiful kids find a voice in all of this noise. Does it seem impossible? Perfect. America was built on the fight for impossible freedom.
We were made for this.
Audrey Paice - THANK YOU, Bo. I have also tried to stay away from online posts on political topics because it feels like “adding to the noise” but this is a humanity issue and my convictions would not let me stay silent. Thank you for your wisdom and words that cut to the point.
One other thing I’ve found as an option, any option, to care for these precious littles caught in horrific circumstances is to write letters and/or send teddy bears to Operation Comfort, 4470 West Sunset Blvd, Box 217, Los Angeles, CA 90027.
At the end of the day no amount of letters and teddy bears will matter more than reconnecting these families of course, thank you for highlighting Rising Together.
Lori Greenstone - Yes to all of that. I love how you ground your argument and set in on a couch.
Becky Jo Pas - God the Almighty could have prevented this.
Dan Belles - I agree with the need for care, protection and love of those separated families. We also have families old and young and everything in-between and for a multitude of reasons that have been separated. There are veterans who haven’t been cared for, children in our foster systems and are otherwise separated due to parental incarceration or neglect, etc.
This nation has a lot of needy people in horrendous situations who are not getting this (media/political)kind of attention. We the people and we the church need to give love and support (physical and/or financial) to the needy; however God calls us. Individually we can’t do it all, but collectively we can and should do more.
I feel for those who have been caught up in the border wars (that is tragic on many levels), but let’s not forget our own citizens in the midst of this chaos.
Flor Nuñez - Dear Bo,
Thank you for taking your time and your thoughts, for displaying them in such a graceful and clear way. Thank for being bold, for being wise. Thank you for letting Jesus use you to encourage His people to do the right thing. I completely agree with you.
Holly Witte - This is so smart, so sweet, so needed. Your are a really good writer. Here is my struggle…we know Jesus and God do not want the terrible things – mass shootings, holocausts, famine, ethnic cleansing and on and on. Instead, we have been given free will, which certainly seems to be the cause of some of the suffering. How do we rely on God and faith and still take action? I have had personal experiences so I know God is the answer but I struggle with why there is so much sadness.
Gail Orr - Amen and amen!! Couldn’t be more right on! Stop the blame/defending, protect the defenseless above all!!
Annie Chevalie'r - This is wonderful. I have someone I know in Ohio who is a Pastor and an Immigration attorney. I will send that link to him and believe for more donations. He has over some 2,000 friends on Facebook and over 10,000 follower’s
Joyce Pieser - Yes this is sad for defenseless children brought over by irresponsible parents. But what is more sad is all the children born in this country that live in miserable horrendous conditions for years and they are being ignored. I live in Texas and currently there are 79,000 children being sex trafficked just in this state. A refuge ranch close to me will be opening soon for 44 rescued sex trafficked kids. One of the leaders of this ranch was herself trafficked at the age of 6. Now in her 40’s she is still struggling to be a whole person. Why are people not in an outrage and trying to do what they can to help with this? I guess it is because there is no political gains that can come from doing something. I pray people will wake up and start helping in their own backyards and leave the illegals for our government to find a remedy.
Curt Sell - Thank you for your thoughtful words on this difficult topic. What a better nation we would live in if this approach was taken on EVERY political or social issue. Sometimes we forget that we are a country full of PEOPLE not just non-human political positions. Your challenge to brainstorm solutions and show compassion to ALL people is exactly what we need moving forward. Thank you for taking the time to write this.
Steve Krodman - This post captures the very reason we, as a nation, seem to have lost sight of our moorings (a mixed metaphor if ever I’ve written one)! Thanks for your eloquence and gracious heart.
I found you thanks to your post about living with ALS. You nailed it, darling. I call it “walking on Jupiter.”