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Why I’m Headed to the Border

I’m writing this from 30,000 feet. Honestly not my favorite spot to be. I’m a bit of a nervous flier with a family of five at home. I prefer my feet on solid ground. But I’ve been invited to travel to Texas on what felt like something I must do. We have many invitations in our days, to do things we should or could. And then every once in a while there is something we must do. Where we know all roads point to this. Almost as if God made us for it. I believe this invitation was one of those.

So here I am suspended in air, the clouds below me, as I’m headed with a group of women, faith-filled, Jesus-pursuing women, to learn about immigration, specifically family separation at the border. We will visit people on the front lines, those detained and those who are working with them in many capacities, to hear their stories and learn. From custom and border patrol to a faith-based relief center, we will listen to our brothers and sisters who understand immigration through different lenses.

Part of the “yes” is my history. A Spanish major in college and a childhood back and forth over the Atlantic, I was sure life overseas was my future. But God’s direction was clear my days were to be played out stateside welcoming the stranger. I spent a few years on the front lines working for Catholic Charities, helping the children of migrant farmworkers navigate the local high school. My near-decade tenure at MOPS International had me speaking and writing on the importance of the mother in families and culture. And most recently I’ve helped start The Open Door Sisterhood, a network of women encouraging each other to “be world changers for good right where we are.” To top it off, my own family is woven into this invitation. My mother-in-law Carol is sitting next to me as I write. The invitation was extended to us together, a multi-generational lens with which to view this issue. So you see…all roads pointed to this trip.

I woke up this morning thinking about Mary Magdalene. Jesus appeared to her and said, “Go and tell what you have seen.” We have a question we like to throw out in church circles, “Can I get a witness?” A witness. A person who sees something and then can attest to it. I assume this phrase stems from Mary and the disciples, those people who witnessed the miracle of the resurrected Jesus. Their firsthand account spread and the Gospel, good news of humanity moved across the world. I understand the Gospel in part because of their witness account.

Can I get a witness? We throw this question out when speaking of Jesus. Can I get a witness? When we need to be reminded of the hope on which we stand. Can I get a witness? When we need someone to stand with us to attest to our story. Going and seeing and recounting is what we do as people. It is especially true of people of faith. We remind each other of who God is and what he has done in order to better imagine where he is headed.

For all of these reasons I am going to witness. To see and observe and learn. To stand with people in their stories. And then to go and tell what I have seen. Go where? I’m not sure yet. But a few of you who follow me here have asked for me to share, and so I will here. Together we can remind each other of who God is, what he has done and better imagine where he is headed. This is something I must do.

 

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