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.