There are magical moments where, in the face of grave threats against humanity, the universe appears to conspire for good, by means of a confluence of ‘coincidental’ connections that many call ‘synchronicity’. Through the lens of faith, we see God at the center of this divine conspiracy, weaving a web of relationships with the collective power to prophetically withstand the forces that seek to rend humanity asunder.
It is this same Spirit that brought Tom and I together around the theme of the immigration crisis. As we sat before God and a napkin with the question “Who is my Neighbor?” we opened the treasure chests of our combined friendships, across the borders of Mexico and Central America, with heroes of the faith whose very lives denounce the dehumanization that divides, and announce the reconciling justice and love of God.
As a network of practitioners of Christian community development, CCDA has lived the past decade with a growing awareness of the treacherous, risky, heroic journey north from Central America and Mexico that so many families face. As believers in a God who created ALL of us in God’s own image, we decry the rhetoric that reduces our neighbors and fellow pilgrims to ‘dangerous criminals’, ‘rapists’, ‘terrorists’ and ‘animals’. Most of us encounter these image-bearers at the border and in our midst in the country we call home. We have been called to love, walk alongside and serve them as our guests, the strangers among us that God has blessed us with—seeing in them the self-same Jesus who proclaimed, “When I was a stranger you welcomed me”. A few of us know intimately the contexts of origin of our immigrant neighbors, where suffering, oppression and exclusion force them to opt for the dangerous journey northward in pursuit of life itself. Contrary to the common misperception that Central Americans migrate to pursue the “American dream”, the fact is they are uprooting and moving to pursue a life free from extortion, exploitation, and marginalization.
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