A week ago I had a lovely afternoon café treat with some dear friends. It was to celebrate my godson’s last day of preschool. On Tuesday he had his first day of Kindy. I was delighted to receive the obligatory end-of-day photo to show that even though there had been some nervousness, all ended well. And the on Wednesday the High Court brought down its ruling that offshore detention is legal. I can’t help but make the comparison between kids beginning school this week and kids facing an uncertain future.
Yesterday I joined the #LetThemStay rally in Sydney to express my absolute horror that our Government would consider returning babies, children, families and victims of abuse to an ill-equipped camp on Nauru.
My heart is breaking for these precious human beings. My heart is breaking for the ‘soul’ of our country. My hope is for freedom, for safety, for love for these kids and their families. I want their parents to see the same smile as I saw on my godson’s face, to know that they will learn and play and grow and have countless opportunities to live and love and thrive.
It’s hard not to feel helpless, but there are things I can do.
I can remember at the heart of my faith tradition is love for strangers.
God’s love for creatures and creation that sets the whole world in motion.
In the Old Testament, in the book of Deuteronomy, Moses is teaching the people and reminding them what it is to be God’s people. Moses says:
What does God require of you? Only to fear https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/prix-du-viagra-en-pharmacie/ God, to walk in all God’s ways, to love God, to serve God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep God’s commandments and decrees that I am giving you today, for your own well-being… For God executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
And then we have Jesus, who becomes a stranger to live among us, God-become-human to live our life and share in our joys and struggles. And Jesus constantly reminds us that God cares for the strangers and the least.
I can keep putting pressure on my local MP, on the PM, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Opposition Leader and as many other politicians as possible. I can email them, call their offices to let the staff know how important this is to me, and then tomorrow I can do the same again. I can ask my congregation to write too.
I can attend Sydney Stands up for Sanctuary on Monday night to demand that we #LetThemStay.And I can pray. Because I am a Christian and I believe in prayer. Because in the words of Karl Barth,
“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”
If this isn’t disorder, then I’m not sure what is. So I can pray the Psalms of lament again and again. I can pray for our government to show courage and compassion. I can pray for the vulnerable asylum seekers who face being sent to Nauru, and for those who are still languishing there and on Manus. I can pray for refugees around the world and for the situations of war and violence which create the need for people to flee.
I refuse to give up hope. These people are precious.