A piece I wrote ran in the Newsong NOC bulletin last week and I thought I would share part of it here!
Mark 12 tells us that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength AND love our neighbor as ourselves.
I have been trying to love my neighbor as myself for about 5 years now. As I have cried with my neighbors as they share the struggles of being undocumented, I realized that the call to love must go beyond comforting them in their darkest hour. I have to look at the root of the darkness and take on their pain as my own, just as Jesus did. I choose to carry the burden of my undocumented neighbor because I have to remember how Jesus carried my burdens on the cross.
I speak up for my undocumented neighbors because I know God intended us all to have a voice. I chose to fight for my undocumented neighbors to have rights here, because I know our identity and worth is not found in the country listed on our birth certificate. I care deeply for those that are “orphaned” and “widowed” by the oppression in their home country or by the broken system in our country because I know God is in the business of bringing freedom and justice for those our society says are “the least of these”. I want the Church to understand the complexities of immigration because I think this is our chance to be who God has intended us to be. We can chose to live in fear, hoard our blessings as Americans, and follow the kingdom of the world OR we can choose to live in freedom, lay our lives down for our neighbors and align ourselves with the Kingdom of God. I am here to tell you that amidst the confusion, pain, and struggle of doing the latter, there is indescribable peace and purpose. God calls us to love the orphan, the oppressed, the stranger in the land, not because he needs us to, but because it will make us more like Him.