If Jesus stood on the border

One of the things I love the most about Jesus is that he was constantly in trouble.  He woke up every day and made people angry.  The church leaders called him a troublemaker and a heretic.  Some called him a rebel and others called him teacher.  God called him “my Son.”  Today’s blog post will probably have some of those same results, but I’m writing it anyway.  After all, I’m in great company.

I have watched the news with confusion.  I often form an opinion, even when I probably shouldn’t.  The most difficult choices in life are the debates between right and wrong, when everyone is deciding what is right and wrong, and when everyone is both right and wrong.  

Christians can take a stand on the current border crisis and be right and wrong, no matter which side of the discussion they stand on.  Governor Perry is sending the Texas National Guard to the border to try to help control the wave of immigrants that are flooding into our state.  Every state on the border is faced with similar decisions.  We have been sent children that are arriving without parents, without money and without a home.  They are hungry, confused and many are arriving sick and without immunization shots. What are we going to do with these children?  What are the future ramifications to our country, our state, and our culture?

I have listened to the news, read the articles, heard the debates and understand almost everyone’s opinions.  I don’t have a side that offers a conclusive answer.  I don’t have an opinion that I am not struggling to hold.  I guess you could say I stand with one foot on either side of the border.  

The American/Texan in me knows that our country and our state are experiencing a crisis that could endanger the future.  Is it “fair” for this country/state to have to take care of the children from other nations?  Who are these parents who are putting their children in danger, on a train, and sending them off to an unknown future?  Why did they have children if they didn’t want to take care of them?

The Christian in me asks these questions:  Is it fair that I was born to great privilege when I did absolutely nothing to deserve my blessings?  John 1:16 says, “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.”  I didn’t earn my citizenship – it was a gift of grace.  

Is it selfless love for their children that has caused those parents to send them away, not knowing if they will ever see them again?  We tell the Bible stories of Samuel’s and Moses’ mothers and teach about the great courage and love it took to give their babies away to be cared for by others.  Are the immigrant children unwanted and unloved, or selflessly and sacrificially loved?

What do I do, when I want to do the right thing, but I don’t know the right thing?  I look to the source of wisdom that is higher than my own.  I look to the Law that is higher than my country’s.  I look to God, not for “the” answer, but for “my” answer.

Here is what God’s word says is true, and therefore is the wisdom that is always truth:

  • Blessed is he who is kind to the needy.  Proverbs 14:21
  • He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.  Proverbs 28:27
  • He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.  Proverbs 19:17
  • Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:40
  • Jesus said, “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”  Proverbs 11:25
  • A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. Proverbs 22:9

I don’t know what the politicians should do.  I don’t know what laws our country should adopt.  I don’t know why all of these children have arrived.  I don’t know what this crisis will mean in the future.  But I do know who has power over every moment of that future.  

I do know that the kids crossing the border are not “unwanted” by the God who made them.  I do know that if I want to stand with Jesus, I will stand with one foot on either side of the border, and love and care for God’s kids.

I don’t know “the” answer, but I know God will call me, personally, to my answer when the time comes.  I will pray myself to a place of readiness.  The only right answer is God’s answer for me.  

All of us need to ask for that answer – listen for that answer – and obey.  A friend sent me this quote: “Justice happens when the people with power use that power to do for those with none.” –Brad Franklin.   The baby Hannah gave up to be raised by others was named Samuel.  He wrote, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (2 Samuel 22:33).  This is a major crisis – each of us will need to pray for the power and strength to handle it “perfectly.”


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