For whatever reason when I blog, I usually try to disperse some form of theological knowledge… maybe that’s why I don’t have a lot of followers!
But as I have reflected over the last few weeks, I am more prone to write about what I feel, rather than what I think or have learned.
I have a rather peculiar spiritual practice. Nearly every night – as I snuggle in to my warm, soft bed with a kiss from my husband and my dogs settled in to their dog beds next to mine – I give God thanks for such a simple blessing.
Now before I mislead you into thinking how virtuous and magnanimous I am, I’m pretty sure the impetus for the genesis of this practice was me feeling sorry for myself at some moment in the past and whining at God as I lay in bed at night… until at some point the Holy Spirit or my own common sense (likely both) kicked in and reminded me how good I had it. I have, for all intents and purposes, had a pretty easy life. Not perfect, of course; and none of that proverbial silver spoon stuff; but, as a pastor who hears many stories of people’s struggles and tragedies, if has given me some modest degree of perspective.
And lately, as I lay in bed at night enjoying that privilege of comfort, warmth and safety, I think about the people who struggle so desperately for it.
I am sincerely mystified by our disdain for immigrants and here is why…
I was born in America to parents who provided me with everything I needed nutritionally, spiritually, emotionally, medically, educationally, and on and on and on. And what part did I play in attaining such an awesome life for myself? None, absolutely none. Now granted, eventually I had to choose for myself how I would live in light of those blessings and – my college years aside – I generally chose well. But that does not erase the reality that I played no part in selecting the country in which I was born or the parents to whom I was born. Now (I shudder to say) some might assert that my life was all preordained by God from the get go thereby relieving me of both free will and responsibility… and also creating an arrogance that God must like me better than the people whose birth landed them in much less hospitable circumstances. But I don’t think such an attitude has a theological leg to stand on.
And so as I lay in my safe, comfy bed, I consider that I could have been one of those children born in a violent city in Mexico or Syria or… well, you get the point. I might have endured my government bombing me and drug cartels shooting up my street. And, if I had, I imagine my mom and dad would have done anything they could to get me out of that.