If you ill-treat the poor, you insult your Creator; if you are kind to them, you show him respect. Proverbs 14:31 – The Poverty and Justice Bible
On the 4th of July our family celebrated our nation’s independence as we have done for many years beginning with a pancake breakfast at the firehouse, a parade in the afternoon, followed by a potluck dinner with old friends and new, and ending with fireworks.
This year it was also our privilege to help carry a massive American flag in the parade. We were impressed with the way the flag was honored by young and old, liberals and conservatives, men, women and children from many different cultural backgrounds. It was a classic American celebration with a 2019 difference. One homemade float after another defended the immigrants knocking at our borders.
I would like to report that our nation is showing respect for our Creator by treating every immigrant in a humane fashion, but it just isn’t so. There are too many reports of problems in the “detention centers” to write them all off as “fake news.”
Last night the national news included the information that it costs the U.S. $800 a day to keep a child in a border center, separated from his or her parents. I have met families in Central America whose annual income is less than that, and they are not alone. $800 is a fortune to families throughout Asia and Africa, as close to us as Haiti and Guatemala, and maybe your own back yard; families who cannot feed their families every day because there is no money to put even rice or beans on the table.
The truth is that the vast majority of the families seeking asylum here don’t want to leave their home country. They just want to feed their families and live in safety. Unfortunately, the current administration has eliminated funding for the programs that were helping create better living conditions for them.
As you process the struggles of these immigrants and your response to them, may you remember the verse from Proverbs that says: “If you ill-treat the poor, you insult your Creator; if you are kind to them, you show him respect” and act accordingly.
Blessings on your efforts to be helpful to those seeking asylum in our country,