Deuteronomy 10:18, “He (Yahweh) defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”
It’s been a tough week for children at the US boarder. It’s been a tough week for families at the US border. It’s been a tough week for anyone who loves children and families who have seen the images of children separated from their parents. It’s been a tough week for anyone with a compassionate heart who has seen the images of children placed into warehouses that were built to hold consumer goods.
At times I found myself filled with anger and confusion at how US immigration policy could be this off kilter. On Thursday, the president signed his name to change the policy of separating children from parents at the border. However, that policy does not cover children that have already been separated (according to The New York Times). So I continue to be filled with anger and confusion. And even if the policy covered the children who have been separated, the hurt and damage has already been done. So as the Psalmist cried, I also lament, “How long? How long to sing this song?”
If you are like me, you sat in anger and confusion this week. Perhaps you turned away from the images of crying children and weeping parents because you felt helpless. At times, I did. Others times I stared at the images because I wanted them to burn into my eyes which are the window to the soul. I wanted to do my best to see and feel the pain of the parents and the children.
When you read about the heart of God toward the foreigner and immigrant in Israel, you see a stark contrast to the US policy that prevailed this week. Deuteronomy 10:18 reads, “He (Yahweh) defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.” I’m well aware of the fact that there are larger issues here than can be solved by quoting one verse from the Hebrew Bible. However, the consistent image of God in both testaments of the Bible is that God is compassionate and loving, and he is especially compassionate and loving to the most vulnerable in society–like orphans, widows, the poor, the sojourner, and children.
What can we do to change the situation? First, feel. Feel compassion for these families. Second, pray. Prayer makes a difference. Third, make sure that we have hearts for the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods and communities. Fourth, write your representative in congress and let them know your thoughts on this issue.
I must also note the fact that this seperation of children from parents at the US boarder which prompted (and rightly so) a cry of indignation on the part of thousands of US citizens happens on a daily basis in other parts of our world without receieving much attention at all. Think of the girls who are kidnapped by the Boko Harem in Nigeria. Think of the young girls in Nepal who are placed in isolation huts while they are menstrating. Think of children in parts of Africa and the Middle East who are taken from their family by military regimes to be trained as soldiers. We need to widen our outrage to a global proportion.
Protect children who have been seperated from those who love them. Allow them to be reunited quickly. I pray for leaders around the world to act on behalf of those who are the most vulnerable, the children. I pray for every disciple to love as Jesus loved.