Saturday, August 23, 2008

Let us pray today and every day for the illegal immigration situation

Let us pray today and every day for the illegal immigration situation. I live in San Diego and let me tell you what happens here. Orphaned Mexican teenagers illegally cross the border into San Diego looking for work and a chance to survive, to escape what happens to homeless orphans in Mexico. INS rounds them up and dumps them in Tijuana where they become prey to the pimps, drug dealers etc.

Parents are torn from their US born children and deported, leaving the kids in the the care of Children's Services and the foster care system.

I can't believe that any American would think these are desirable results. Now, I know the whole situation is complicated and I don't begin to claim to understand most aspects of the issue, but I can see clearly that these are not results that have merit in the eyes of our Lord.

Jesus told us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick and provide for widows and orphans. IMO, He meant that we are to do it in such a way that people flourish. How many children flourish in the foster care system? Not enough. We know thins because of all the time, money, energy and effort expended to keep children with their parent(s). How many teenagers are going to flourish in the grip of pimps and drug dealers? Not many.

I have often heard Americans say that we are the most generous country in the world. That may be. I've never looked at the statistics which compared the giving of other nations. But if this is true, we can't at ourselves on the back and rest on our laurels. We don't give enough. If we did, we would be caring for our mentally ill homeless, our war veteran homeless, our PTSD veterans, the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, and those who cannot take care of themselves. We see these people every day and look the other way.

There are reasons people are fleeing their countries to come to ours by any possible means. And by that I don't mean what they hope to get here. I am talking about what they are fleeing. Again a huge subject and I willingly admit I do not understand all that is involved. But i guess i don;t understand why we are not leading the UN to greater efforts to change the conditions so that people may thrive where they are.

If humanitarian concerns don't move us and available evidence leads me to conclude that humanitarians are not persuasive enough, perhaps we could be motivated by the image we project to the rest of the world.

What message do we send the world when we ship helpless teenagers to the border system to be swallowed up by the sharks? What message do we send to the world when we rip families apart and thrust helpless children into foster care?

Oh Most High God, stop this evil. Let there be compassion. Let love rule.

O God, the source of creation, ever-present in the changes of this world, be present with your people who cry to you for help. Empower us with vision and strength to enable the peoples of this earth to acquire the skills and resources necessary to a growing world. Enable those from countries with plenty to share their lives, funds, and resources with those in need. Embolden those with vision to proclaim new ways of creating communities of responsibility. Engage us in learning from one another and in valuing the unique gifts that you have given to the people of every land. Bless your people, O God, who cry to you. Amen.

Vienna Cobb Anderson | Source: Adapted from "Prayers of Our Hearts" © 1991

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God…But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Matthew 5:9; Luke 6:27-31 | Source: The Bible (New Revised Standard Version)

May I become at all times, both now and forever
A protector for those without protection
A guide for those who have lost their way
A ship for those with oceans to cross
A bridge for those with rivers to cross
A sanctuary for those in danger
A lamp for those without light
A place of refuge for those who lack shelter
And a servant to all in need.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama


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