first, we are human, and so are these children

imagine with me for a moment this scenario, if you dare.

a scenario where together we saw a little girl, cold and sick and hungry.

let’s pretend that at this moment the stains of vomit, the stench of urine and feces were so great that our eyes watered and we covered our noses out of reflex, an involuntary motion. we were embarrassed by this, but we couldn’t help it. we hoped she didn’t notice our uncomfortable glances. yet we didn’t feel any sense of emotion rise up in us.

her breath reeked from the lack of available toothbrush for her teeth, her hands caked with dirt and dried mucus and who knows what else because she had been denied the basic necessity of hand soap. perhaps she had done something to deserve this, after all, no child would be treated this way if she wasn’t guilty of something.

instead of outrage, we turned our heads.

instead of demanding answers, we were silent.

it was so cold in this drab facility that housed this child that we couldn’t stop shivering, but she seemed numb to the cruel temperatures. how long had she been here?

she was so weak from lack of nutrition that she could barely lift her legs, her muscles turning to atrophy. it’s not like it was our responsibility to help her though, why would we when it wasn’t us that had brought her here?

in the distance, there were strangers milling about, chatting with each other and showing little interest in the child. they wore security uniforms but didn’t seem the least bit worried about securing the premises.

besides, it’s not like this was a prison. she was probably just here while her family figured things out.

as we looked around, we noticed that there were others just like this little girl, in similar conditions and with the same weary, blank and disconnected look on their faces.

we were still unmoved because these weren’t our children. when they talked, we couldn’t understand them. how could they expect us to help them if they couldn’t help themselves anyway?

we decided that when we returned home, we wouldn’t discuss what we had seen with others. why raise alarm when we weren’t sure about the details? besides, we had our own children to worry about.

the problem with this tale is that it’s not something that we have to imagine. it’s happening and we are allowing it, in the country we call home. in a week we will be celebrating with parades and flags and everything patriotic, while children continue to suffer in agony on the border. this is not okay.

we can debate policy and taxes and whether the state should use our hard-earned money to pay for roads and healthcare for all. we are liberal and we are conservative, democrat and republican. however, before we stage these arguments and hold these labels, first we are human, and so are these children.

we aren’t inclined to be silent about the inhumanity toward others simply because we don’t have all the facts. we know enough. we don’t get to use our citizenship as a ladder that we can climb to look down on others simply because they weren’t born here. inhumane treatment of humans, children or otherwise, is an atrocity.

imagine a scenario where we actually did what Jesus commanded us to do. to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty and clothes to the naked. He didn’t say that with a caveat. He didn’t offer a loophole. It was a command.

what if we did Jesus what told us to do? oh, what a world that would be.

 

For information about what is happening at the border, here are a few links:

The Youngest Known Child Separated From His Family at the U.S. Border Under Trump

What We Know: Family Separation And ‘Zero Tolerance’ At The Border

Family Separation by the numbers

If you want to help, here are some additional links:

Together Rising

5 Ways to Help Migrant Children and Families Right Now

Women’s Refuge Commission

Feel Helpless Amidst the Horrific Immigration News? You’re Not. Here’s What To Do.

wonder.

this world is a wonder.

and it makes me wonder.

i wonder about the past… it just seems to happen so fast. one day, two days turns into a week, a month. suddenly a few years have gone and i’m left remembering where we’ve been and wondering about where we’re going.

i wonder about today. i wonder how we got here.

social media blasts us with stories of ferguson, missouri in a blaze. an officer shoots an unarmed man in the head and doesn’t go to trial. i wonder about that. going to trial doesn’t mean guilt or innocence, it just means that more questions need to be asked. i wonder how the grand jury can decide that all necessary questions have been asked and answered.

the president puts forward an order regarding immigration.

the internet explodes.

i guess we have forgotten that almost all of us are not from here. we are the byproducts of immigration, some of us illegally. but that doesn’t seem to matter anymore. why bother with the truth of history?

the united states spends more on defense than the next twenty-six countries combined. somehow it’s justified. yet there are those who think cuts need to be made to education. as if we haven’t made life tough enough for kids. now the one place they are supposed to go specifically for learning, we cannot even sustain that? then we cannot figure out why kids are on the streets and crimes escalates. that makes me worry more than wonder.

i wonder about those who proclaim to know Jesus and celebrate his miracles and his life. many of these people are the ones who believe you must earn health care, that it’s not a right, that there then must be a premium on health and life. if being healthy and having access to health care is a privilege and not a right, i wonder how that works with your theology. what has any of us done to deserve Jesus? we christians like to say that Jesus is the ultimate healer right? yet the system in place for those who need it is only accessible for those who have earned it? i wonder how that can be possible to believe.

some headlines ask questions that we cannot possibly answer.

i hear that sex trafficking in this country is on the rise. why? how? who are the monsters that think this is okay?

 some questions have easy answers… at least in my mind…ISIS exists now because of an unnecessary war we started over a decade ago that ironically opened the floodgates for something we vowed to destroy.

this world is full of wonder. there is good in this world. i know too many good people who are doing so much good. there is also the opposite. people more concerned with bank accounts and power and image to worry about anything else. that is what concerns me.

it makes me wonder about the future.