A Voice Is Heard…
“A voice was heard in Ramah,weeping and loud wailing,Rachel weeping for her children and she did not want to be comforted, because they were gone.”(Matthew 2:18 NET)
The night of June 16th, 2018 was the first night in which our two-year daughter woke up crying in the middle of the night, got out of her bed all by herself and walked to our room asking for us to comfort her. That was a night of privilege both for her and for us. That privilege consisted of the following basic things that most us take for granted: She woke up crying, but sleeping in her own bed and in her own room… the comfort that she was crying for was just a few steps away in the next room where mom and dad were sleeping… I was able to take her into my arms to comfort her and sing her back to sleep. That same night, as well as many other nights in May and June of that year, thousands of little ones were not able to enjoy that privilege. NPR reports that 2,342 children were separated from their parents in just over one month. The Office of the inspector General reports that over 2,700 children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018. These children were denied the privilege that I described above. They left their homeland fleeing violence, poverty, and oppression. They survived the perilous journey from Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border. They arrived at the border seeking asylum and safety. They were torn apart from their parents and were placed in chain-linked cages upon arrival. They were made to sleep in the floor covering themselves with solar blankets. Their cries in the middle of the night were not met by the comforting arms or mom or dad. But their cries were heard. They were not only heard by those in the private detention centers. They were also heard by attorneys, advocates, and reported. They were also heard by the world through the audio recordings that were published by different media outlets. They were also heard by the One who hears all, sees all, and knows all. Do we have ears to hear… do we have ears to listen?
I humbly offer the following words to the glory of God, for our common reflection as we continue to journey through this Lenten wilderness…
“A Voice is Heard…” Matthew 2:18 ~Jeremiah 31:1
A voice is heard at the U.S.-Mexico border, lamentation and great mourning, Central America weeping for her children,and refusing to be comforted, because they are no longer with mamá or papá.
They came fleeing from violence, danger, and hunger. They came with hearts full of hope searching for joy. They came and were met with rejection. They came and were met with despair. They came and were torn from the arms of their mothers. They came and were placed in a chain-linked fence cage. They did not come for their eyes to be filled with tears of sadness. They did not come to become a trending topic on Twitter. They did not come to become a talking point for politicians to argue
They came bearing the migrant Christ in their bodies. They came to try the moral compass of the mightiest nation. They came just as millions of children had come and were welcomed generations ago. They come to awaken a nation. They came to shed a bright light on the sin of idolatry. They came for their cries to reach up to the heavens above. They came to move God’s mighty hand to touch millions of hearts.
A voice is heard at the U.S.-Mexico border, lamentation and bitter weeping, Central America wailing for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are no longer with mamá or papá. -Edgar Abdón Vergara Millán, June 18, 2018.
Please follow these links for more information:
- NPR article.
- Information from the Office of the Inspector General.
- Solar blankets.
- Audio of children separated from their parents.
Prayer Focus: Families that have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, especially the children who are yet to be reunited to their parents.
Thought for the Day: God hears the cries of the oppressed.
Let Us Pray: Our Father in heaven, your Spirit has led us into this Lenten journey in which we seek to follow the footsteps of your Son Jesus. It is because of your Spirit that we can cry out to you who are our Father. We pray today for those around the world whose cries go unheard. We especially pray for the children who have been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. We pray for their cries to be comforted with your arms of mercy, justice, and peace. We pray for a day in which families are received with compassion instead of rejection and violent separation. We pray for a day in which families no longer have to flee their homeland due to hunger, violence, and oppression. We pray in the name of the One who journeys with us through this Lenten wilderness. We pray in the name of the One who had to flee from oppression and violence to become a refugee child on our behalf. We pray in the name of your Son Jesus. Amen.