This entire time we've been hearing about the number of children flocking to our country from Latin America I can't help but think of Jesus' words in the Gospel of Mark, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs."
Perhaps I'm stretching things too far, but I've always believed God is amidst children, especially children such as these, working, waiting for people of faith and humanity in general to take a stand against the injustice and oppression of a broken system and situational terror. The reality is we can no longer turn a blind eye to the reality of the situation because for better or worse, God has turned divine attention to the scene unfolding at our border.
The kingdom of God belongs to such as these. When I was in high school at the Duke Youth Academy, Dr. Stanley Hauerwas taught us about realized eschatology, that all of us play an integral role in bringing about the kingdom promised to us in the scriptures. How is that playing out for you in this incarnation of children being tormented to a point of risking it all for safe lodging and holy rest?
So what is our response as people of faith? It is simply, to follow Jesus. That doesn't make the situation any less complex or easy, but in following Jesus we realize that this debate about what we should do is no debate at all. We must welcome the poor, the downtrodden, the weary souls longing to be free from oppression and despair.
My girlfriend Stephanie is currently in France right now studying abroad. The other day she sent me a text saying she attended a parish church where St. Vincent De Paul celebrated mass in the 17th century. It got brought to mind St. Vincent De Paul's own words, poignant words in the light of this situation:
"You will find out that charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. and the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them."
Dear people of God we must give more than bread and soup, we must give love and hope. Don't let political pride get in the way of a theological and humanitarian answer. Keep the faith that the kingdom of God belongs to the last and least of these, especially the children.