KEEP THOSE SHARPIES NEARY BY
"The World Turned Upside Down" has been running through my head today. Yes, it is by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and yes it is from Hamilton. That's NOT what I was gonna talk about here, though.
A week ago, I went to a march, and it was pretty awesome. Last time I looked nearly 4,000 women have either filed papers or started work toward running for office, and/or volunteering in their communities. That is a pretty awesome result.
A few days after though, it seemed like everyone in the world wanted to dump all over that march. Christian organizations circulated a response about how that march "didn't represent them", and people I knew told me that I was a "snowflake" or a "sore loser". Whatever. It was a strange reaction to me, and one I STILL don't understand. It seems odd to me when one human tells another human, "No. That isn't what you are feeling. Let me tell you what you are feeling." Of course their biggest argument was "You marched around but you didn't accomplish anything."
A bunch of people gathered tonight. It was just like last Saturday. People in various cities around the United States gathered with signs in hand and protested. The Husband and I watched a live feed at JFK and the sound of all those people chanting, "Let them in!" was so powerful. Did you see the lawyers gathered at the airports holding up signs, "Immigration Lawyer - Do you need help?"
I suppose those same people would argue that marching with signs accomplishes nothing. They would argue that it doesn't really deal with the complex questions of immigration and national policy. They might even argue that once again the "losers" are whining and complaining.
And yet, even now, a stay has been issued against the ban on immigration. Right now. A judge ruled and people who were stopped at the airport aren't stopped. Can you imagine? I read a tweet from a guy who left the port of the United States on a cruise with a visa, and was afraid that he would be unable to return when the boat docks tomorrow. He must be so relieved.
"With the clothes on their backs, they came through a storm. And the ones that didn't die want a better life. And they want it here." Aaron Sorkin
Ok, it is a West Wing quote about fictional refugees and a fictional President who despite all the complications and dangers it involves, welcomes them. Man, I sort of wish we had that fictional President sometimes. Of course, I could be more direct and quote something so much older, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
People asked Jesus who their neighbor was, and he was pretty clear about it. He told a story which is pretty famous, about a man, a foreigner to the land who is robbed, beaten and abandoned. He has nothing, and in my Sunday school flannel story, he wasn't even conscious. Many passed him by -- he might have been a terrorist for all they knew, but the person no one expect to help him did -- spending his time, his money and risking his life that this stranger might need help.
This is why I find it impossible to reconcile the words of Christ with the words of our 45th President. And this is not to say that I want him to fail and our Nation to fail as well. I do not. My children's future hinge on his success. Maybe this difficult start will push him to listen to advisor, and to gather around himself those who can offer solid, thoughtful, fair advice.
Meanwhile, I WILL keep my sharpie and posters close at hand. I'll keep my walking shoes by the door, and I will not listen to those who say we should sit back and mind our own business. I will especially not listen to those who argue that I should do nothing because earth isn't my "real home." Christ, Himself, directed me to behave otherwise.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I need clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." Matthew 25:25-36