My heart has grieved for the situation at the border in Mexico. I have been appalled by certain rhetoric in the past regarding immigration issues in the States but the current pictures and information about children being separated from their parents is just too much for me to handle.
This week I’ve engaged a bit online with different areas of conversation: Why did the media only bring up these images now? What is Romans 13 in its context (because I’m pretty sure after talking about submission to governing authorities it talks about love fulfilling the law… so… there’s that) and was it misused? Is this all just part of a big political agenda? Are democrats or republicans the enemy here?
As I get sucked into all these debates, I need to pull back and ground myself in the belief that separating children from their parents is just wrong in this context. I feel like I have thoughtfully engaged the media, biblical text, and political agenda and american laws around immigration (as far as I can as a lay person not specialized or educated in any of these things), but I am still left with the very simple fact that separating children from their parents at the border is just morally and ethically wrong. I also might be naive to think that there was some basic teachings I learned as a child that ring in my heart in these situations: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” and “Two wrongs don’t make a right!”
But what do I “do?” I asked myself as I sat crying last night picturing these precious souls. These little ones can’t make sense of their current reality and need the comfort of their parents touch. As I look to my own children and their own concerns, I realize I need to be faithful to care for them and often fail. Considering and caring for the children that are closer to my sphere of influence is the overflow of recognizing the deep love the Father has for me as his beloved. I do see this as an opportunity to remember what I am called to do faithfully.
However, I don’t want to “ground” myself too soon and numb out to the pain of the world.
I am reminded that the best advocacy tool is very accessible to me: Prayer. In my desperation he has brought me back to what he has designed me to do – come to him.
And this is the only way I know how to pray for all of this:
You are my father. You are the creator of the world. You are accessible to all and are willing to be the Father to many. Even those not in a covenant relationship with you through Jesus are your creation and image bearers of you. You created them, you are the Father of the whole world!
Who art in heaven. Hallowed be your name
You see it. You sometimes feel removed to me but you are not. You are sovereign over all. I want to remember that you see all the injustice and pain in the world.
Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
Lord Jesus come back and right all the wrongs. In this situation with these immigrant children and families, may your will be done. We know your will is that children would be advocated for and not hindered in coming to you. Please provide many with compassion for children to care for these precious souls. To help them in their trauma. Please provide many to advocate for them and create a much better situation with the border issues. Please humble our hearts to see we are all beggars in need of you in a broken world. Help us not be comfortable with just having our own lives “figured” out or comfortable, but to seek to alleviate suffering and injustice in the lives of others.
Give us today our daily bread
Help me feast on and remember the love of Jesus. Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall see God. Keep me poor in spirit and recognize my innate spiritual poverty so I may have compassion on those who suffer as well.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors
I’m so sorry for justifying and numbing out to the pain of the world. I’m sorry for the times I have ignored issues in my own country with race and first nations, abuse, and mental health. Too easily have I turned a blind eye because the suffering felt too great and I wanted to be comfortable. Please forgive me for forgetting that all of humankind are image bearers of God no greater or no less than those of other cultures or countries.
And lead us not into temptation
Please Lord help me not numb out of the pain of the world and sit in my own comfort. When I am tempted to live by the letter of the law, help me continue down in Romans 13 to read about love being above the law.
But deliver us from the evil one
Ugh. Satan’s so tricky. Deceiving us and pulling us away from the love of you and the love of your people. May he have no power in this.
Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
(a celtic prayer)