Recently, my pastor, the Rev. Barry H. Spencer, preached a sermon based on Matthew 15, which includes the story of a Canaanite woman seeking help from Jesus to heal her sick daughter.
By law, Jews weren’t to have anything to do with Gentiles.
This edict did not deter her in the least.
Her audacity serves as a reminder that you’ll do, say and try anything to help your child.
Despite being rebuffed by Jesus not once, but twice, she wouldn’t shut up and she wouldn’t go away. It isn’t hard to imagine she might have tackled him to the ground had he refused her a third time.
Why? Because there’s nothing, nothing, most parents wouldn’t do to save their kids.
Mothers and fathers do the impossible, the unthinkable, even the miraculous, if that’s what their children require.
What would you do for your child?
Would you walk 500 miles? Endure degradation? Become a criminal?
To what lengths would you go to ensure your child had a chance in life?
This is not an endorsement of law-breaking, but rather an understanding of why some Central Americans risk danger, imprisonment and even separation from their children to escape the corruption, chaos and death that has decimated their countries.
We love to whine and hand-wring about America’s decline, but how many of us would leave this country and everything we have known, with our children in tow, to take a chance on the mercy of strangers?
On May 7, the government announced it would criminally prosecute anyone who tried to cross the border, even those seeking asylum. Because kids can’t be charged, 685 were taken into federal custody in the first two weeks and reclassified as unaccompanied minors.
The vast majority of Central Americans fleeing their homelands are not violent criminals or card-carrying members of MS-13 — most of whom are American, by the way. They’re running from such people, who have turned their countries into killing fields in a bid to control the bottomless drug trade.
And because everything is connected, guess which country is their best customer?
The new policy, and the near-elimination of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program, are clear efforts to reduce certain types of immigrants from certain places, including those who have been deemed “insufficiently” skilled.
Answer to prayer
It’s surely an answer to prayer for all those Americans who have been clamoring to recoup those hotel-cleaning, tomato-picking and meat-packing jobs.
A nation that lays claim to being Christian and the epicenter of family values cannot possibly reconcile itself to a policy of separating them. It is the antithesis of a faith that literally compels its adherents to “welcome the stranger.”
Christians who point to the law have to pretend they don’t remember how Jesus frequently upended the law by interacting with Romans, lepers, fallen women, even going so far as promising a convicted criminal eternity in paradise.
He healed for free, and on the wrong days. He mixed it up with sinners far beyond what was proper for a so-called holy man.
He enjoyed having little kids underfoot.
As a sovereign nation, the United States has every right, an obligation really, to maintain its borders. The problem is not with that sovereignty, but with the deliberately cruel and cynical misuse of children as pawns to uphold it.
Any policy that requires terrorizing and traumatizing a toddler or pulling a preschooler from her mother’s arms is a wrong that can never justify the right.
Anyone who thinks that separating desperate parents from their children will serve as a deterrent misunderstands the power of love.
There’s virtually nothing most people wouldn’t do to save their kids.
Even if it means giving them up.
Reach Charita M. Goshay at 330-580-8313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.