I share a couple of caveats as I post this:
- I realize that this crisis at our border has been going on for quite some time. While recent events have heightened concerns, there are issues that need to be resolved.
- I didn’t just start caring about it because the media brought it to my attention. It’s challenging to keep everything on our radar and using our voices when it comes up is better than not using them at all. I do my best to be educated and speak up at the right time.
Each of us has a story of origin.
We have a birth story that our mom or another relative can tell in great (maybe too much) detail.
We learn about our parents and their upbringing and our grandparents, too.
We likely have a family member that has done research on our family tree and can trace our family back a couple hundred of years or more.
And for the majority of us, we know that our ancestors came to America through Ellis Island or some other port. My family hails from England, Switzerland and Germany to name a few.
They left the place of their birth so their children could have a better life, but it wasn’t easy. When they arrived in America it wasn’t home. They worked to make ends meet, they moved to find the best place to raise their kids.
Yes, I am an American, but my family hasn’t always been here. I have the privilege to live in freedom, but some people don’t receive that so easily.
When I posted this Bible verse a couple of days ago, it reminded me that thousands of years ago, the people of Israel experienced this same ordeal.
They came to Egypt as foreigners and spent many years as slaves. They were able to escape through God’s mighty hand and some ordinary people called to lead them. And though the journey was difficult, they did make it to the Promised Land, a better place to settle and make their home.
We have foreigners coming into our land. Some among us may not understand why, but it’s because we live in a place of freedom. People who are so desperate that they are willing to risk their lives, are coming from really terrible places.
Shouldn’t they be treated as human beings?
Shouldn’t they be able to stay together as a family?
Shouldn’t we be able to understand their plight,
just as God reminds us the plight of his own people?
Do the earthly laws complicate this? Absolutely. But we are called to follow a higher law, since our permanent residency is not of this earth. We are foreigners, too.
How does your origin impact you? Do the stories of your ancestors coming to America still reverberate in your mind? Does a trip to Ellis Island to see your great relatives names remind you of where your family came from? Do you own a business that was started from nothing by someone you admire?
We don’t know why someone comes to America unless we ask. Many want to flee terrible tyranny. Many want a better life for their children. Why we make it so difficult, I will never understand, especially since so many of our families were given the opportunity to come and make a new life for themselves.
Every single person, every neighbor we come across has an origin because of God our creator. We are each made in His image and we need to treat each other just as God has treated us, with mercy and compassion.
I am called to treat everyone as my neighbor and Jesus himself tells us to “Love your neighbor.”