I have to admit, I've never had to risk too much. I know who I am, what I am called to do, and I am blessed to freely pursue it without putting myself at risk. Well, I suppose an anti-Immigrant activist could stumble upon this little blog and decide I am so valuable to their opposition that they should take me out...but really, what are the chances of that happening?
As you might have read here, I have been feeling a little discouraged about my efforts in this fight and quite hopeless that I will actually see meaningful change. God is funny though. I guess He actually listens to my whining because He sent me 2 great reminders of His hand in all this. It was just what I needed.
The first reminder happened as I was catching up with a dear friend and colleague the other day. This girl is one of my heroes and throughout our conversation, I remembered why. This friend is an amazing advocate for the poor, oppressed, and immigrant. Funny thing is, she happens to be undocumented her self. Having come here at a young age, she knows full well the struggle of an Immigrant family. Although her family was able to legalize, because of one incorrect form, she was not able to attain legal status here. As we were talking about some recent events in her life, she shared with me how some of her family is afraid she is putting herself at risk by being such an outspoken advocate against injustice. She said to me, "But Bethany, I refuse to live in fear." It is clear that God called her to this work, or should I say, God called her to be HERE and do this work. She is willing to risk everything for her calling, not just because Reform will be worth it, but ultimately, because He is worth it. She is not bitter. She does not complain. She is not afraid. She just lives how God has called her to live.
My second reminder came later that day as I connected with another friend. I have admired this friend from a far for quite a while. For starters, she is brilliant. Seriously, brilliant. She is so articulate, humble, kind, selfless, determined...really, the list could go on and on. She is also undocumented and the perfect representation of a DREAM Act student. She not only graduated from college, but she has her Master's in Psychology. Like I said, she's pretty smart. Even though her status here prevents her from fully pursuing her career, she refuses to sit on the sidelines and wait for our government to recognize her worth. Instead, she uses her education and experience to help people who could not otherwise afford the support of a counselor. After we spoke, it hit me that she gets something most do not. You see, she knows that God has called her to something bigger and no matter what the law prohibits her from doing, she will find a way to pursue that higher calling.
My friends. My partners in the Kingdom. My heroes. They remind me why I am here. They remind me that it's not really about the cause, but about chasing after a God who loves us all equally. It's about for-going this earthly kingdom for His Kingdom. You know...the Kingdom where no one is "illegal".
Yeah, that's what I am living for.
That's what I am fighting for.
And to my dear friends, you know who you are, thank you for inspiring me, teaching me, and being in this fight with me. Thank you for reminding me that His Kingdom is worth risking everything for. I look forward to the day when you receive that little piece of paper in the mail that tells you what we already know: you belong here. I am with you to the end.