Oh dear. Okay - hear me out. I don’t know how to write this. I don’t even if I want to write this. No, I don’t want to have to write this. Not again. It’s much safer to speak of other things, Small things. The sort of Sunday afternoon, chit-chat over dainties, smile smile and drink your church coffee things. Yes, that is much easier.
But I can’t.*
I can’t do it. I won’t; I don’t even like church coffee. And to me, fellowship halls always smell funny.
No. I won’t stay quiet because we know kids have been forcibly separated from their parents. And now we know some, some of these kids were discreetly sent to a detention centre - without their parent’s knowledge - out in Harlem, NYC. Leaving even the mayor of NYC himself desperate, asking the T administration for more information about these kids and what the plan is. If there is one.
(Here, I am not sure if I should be hoping that there is a plan or not. The current administration either having or not having a Master Plan for what they intend to do with these kids feels a tad too ominous for my liking. Too reminiscent of another time in history. But I do know this: may all heaven above help me if this was ever my child, and if someone tried to separate us. Oh. Wait. I guess that is what all the guns are for. Why ICE is armed. Ha ha. Silly me).
No, no, no. I will not be silent. I will not drink church coffee and smile. There is a time and place for that, but it is not now: they took children away, and put them in camps. The U.S Customs and Border Protection is now employing checkpoints, stopping people in their cars, to “verify place of birth and citizenship status”. Recently - oh my god - recently, the first lady herself wore a jacket to one of these detention centres with the words “I really don’t care, do u?” printed on the back. This - this is who is in power right now.
And yes, thanks to an executive order reversing The Big T’s initial command, any immigrant families caught crossing illegally into the U.S from Mexico will now remain together, as long as it is safe. But oh dear oh dear, the T himself has also pushed for the ability to keep these families in these detention centres for an indefinite amount of time.
Yes, an indefinite amount of time.
Oh, but you’ve heard this all before. This is not new.
And here is what I am afraid of: when I talk about other things, few people try to squish me (and all these extra kidneys) under any church pew, when I speak of other things, rarely does anyone admonish me to be quiet (hou je mond kinder!), or attempt to shove those over-sized White peppermints into my mouth. The ones used during church services to “help kids behave”.
No, no one does then. So my question then is: who is profiting from the system currently being as it is?
It’s just not the time for coffee, folks. It’s not the time to be polite, subdued, chit-chatty. It’s not the time when men and women are rising to power who seemingly do not care for ‘the least of these’.**
No, I will not relent in this. The fellowship halls needs to be empty for awhile. There is work to be done. Oh, they’ll be time again to meet for the after-service dainties and admire how tall each other’s kids have grown. But not now.
Because oh my dear church. Oh my dear church, I feel a warning. I feel a warning and it does not bode well for us:
How dare we say that we don’t have enough? How dare we say that we don’t have enough when our store houses are full and our bellies are fat?
How dare we say that we don’t have enough when families - unimaginably desperate- and yes, some of them lawbreakers***-are risking whatever they have left, even their children’s lives! to make it up to the border and then to try cross - all with hopes of Better.
These people - these humans- are coming to this land with hope of Better. The land of Better that through some sort of Cosmic lottery, of which we had no control, landed us - you and me - in it at birth?
How dare we say that we don’t have enough?
I fear for us. I fear that we have become arrogant. I fear this because only the arrogant would not imagine that they, too, could one day be displaced. That their “spot” in this world is so secure that they could never be the ones asking to be let in. That they have forgotten that the suffering of one is the suffering of all.
No, I won’t stay stuffed under this pew. There is too much work to do. There are things that need changing.
*I’ve never been terribly adept at chit-chat. And especially on Sundays. To me, Sundays are for napping.
**"the least of these" - a Biblical description. Seems like the Big and Almighty Yahweh was (and is) pretty darned concerned about the poor, those down-trodden, the widow, the oppressed. those with making due with less. Hmmmm. Wait a minute here....
***lawbreakers. Yes, some will come as lawbreakers. And that is sad. And complex. Because again, if we can move ourselves outside of Affluence****, we too, might understand more fully why some resort to crime. I am not condoning breaking the law. But I will say that sometimes - in some countries - the law itself is not just and does not protect the citizens. And it most definitely does not feed them.
****the People of Affluence = us. You, me, even the student drowning in loans. We still have more than most. We here are rich. We are rich we are rich we are rich.