Last weekend was filled with world news.
Queen Elizabeth’s death consumed everything media. England lost their monarch but the world lost their Queen. Many Americans were so absorbed by her death. At 96 I think perhaps she deserved her rest. At a time when our world is in chaos she can rest in peace.
Vladimir Putin is not going to go easily into the night, and with last weekend’s news about mass graves and tortured Ukrainians and the looming possibility of Putin going berserk and pushing buttons, all I could think of was that she was spared from all of that. We may not be so lucky.
But of all the news I watched perhaps the most disturbing to me was the busloads of immigrants being shipped to all corners of the country without any explanation or warning. While I agree immigration needs reform, I don’t think this is the answer. People, including immigrants, should be able to choose where they want to live. Every state should help with this situation.
We have thousands of immigrants, just like we have had historically, however never before have we just shipped them out immediately with no planning and no warning. These are human beings. They are not disposable, unnecessary, or a burden. This country is begging for laborers, and many are on those buses. They want what our grandparents and in some cases, parents wanted. A home, and safety for their families, a way to earn a living and to support those families. They want the same thing you want, what I want. Security, a safe place to raise their children, and most of all, peace.
We as Americans have to reassess. How can we turn our backs on the most vulnerable people fleeing for their lives? The parallels are too real for me. Strangers in a foreign land, kind of like Mary, Joseph, and their baby. They too were rejected, afraid and endangered. What is perplexing to me is the status we claim as a largely Christian nation. The parallels Biblically to the times of today are huge.
“What you do unto the least of these, you do unto me” is a phrase I remember my Dad using a lot from the pulpit. Our track record as a country, a state, and a community concerning the least of these could be vastly improved. It goes without saying that I believe we have a human responsibility to help those most in need, whatever the reason, without judgement or bias. That is hard sometimes. The mistakes made by those we serve, the immigrants coming over the border, our neighbors, and people we just plain don’t agree with sometimes gives us pause in serving, befriending, and assisting. It isn’t their test, it is ours.
“Let he without sin cast the first stone” is the phrase that comes to mind. It is most difficult to put our fears aside and welcome strangers when we don’t exactly feel safe and secure in our living situations or as the numbers of the homeless rise, immigrants are flooding in, QANON is everywhere, and tension is real between not only the haves and the have nots but also between everyday people who don’t even think in terms like that.
There isn’t a business in this community not hiring. We do not have the workforce we need to continue to produce, and the immigrants needing asylum could be a solution to that reality. The families coming to this country will be loyal Americans as were our ancestors because they realize the safety and the asylum they seek is here and they will want to protect that for their families.
We have so many issues facing us that are hard to deal with, and more people to help and grow this country should not be an issue. To remain a world power we need those seeking asylum. The workforce needs them, and communities need them. They have sacrificed everything for their families to come here, risking their lives and separating from extended family. I can only imagine how hard it was.
I hope we take another look at what this is about and stop playing horrific politics with human life. While I totally disagree with what the Florida and Texas Governors have done, I do agree that they are the entry points and should not bear the total burden. People need to be settled throughout the whole country and much of the country is desperate for the workforce they will enter as well as the commitment to family and faith they bring with them. We should celebrate their freedom and the potential they bring to our communities, the richness of their cultures and histories, and the immense bravery they exhibited in seeking asylum.
“We are all but tenants on God’s earth.” (Lev.25:23)