Stepping into Someone Else's Shoes
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt…for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” (Matthew 2: 13)
History repeats itself. Does it not?
I recently returned from two weeks in El Paso working on the border with migrants fleeing from the gangs, narco-traffickers, and the slim chances of survival in their home countries. Most of them were from Guatemala but also from Honduras and Brazil as well as a few from Cuba and Venezuela.
El Paso has 13 shelters for migrants who have been released from detention. Our job was to see that they got fed, clothed, showered, rested, families contacted, and off to the airport or bus station on their way to join their families/sponsors in many parts of the US, all within 24 hours, if possible. Every day a bus came from ICE (Immigration) and dropped off 40-80 migrants at our shelter and the process began again. These were all people who had entered the US and applied for asylum. Then they were put into detention for 4-9 days, given a date to appear before a judge to hear their case, and then released to a volunteer-run shelter.
Looking into their faces and seeing the fear, the exhaustion, and the concern for those they left at home made my heart ache. And yet, their faith and trust in God, and their hope for a brighter future glimmered behind the shadows. I pray that they will get a compassionate and informed judge! And that the words on the base of the Statue of Liberty will guide our country to honest, just, and welcoming Immigration reform:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore; send these the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door” (The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, 1883).
-Sr. Jean Ellman
Why didn't I learn this in school?
Here is a brief primer on experiencing God through your imagination.
And some structured prayer experiences that invite us to use our imaginations.