The Lord looks down from heaven. He says vast empty expanses in the Dakotas, Montana, Scotland, Canada, Norway and Sweden. He sees staggering wealth, loneliness and depression–and is perhaps surprised.
The Lord looks down from heaven. He sees Bangladesh, Rwanda, India, Ethiopia, Malawi, Vietnam. Starvation. Children dying because the mothers can’t read the directions on the donated medicine. Widespread malnutrition. Bright children pulled out of school to earn a few pennies. He sees them look northwards longingly.
The Lord looks down from heaven at Europe, Canada, the United States. He sees nursing homes where there is little kindness. He sees highly educated, gifted women who could use all their giftedness if they had help with childcare or housekeeping. He sees frazzled women writing facebook status updates, “Busy, busy busy. Stressed, stressed, stressed.”
The Lord looks down from heaven at Africa, Asia, South America. He sees kind competent women who would happily help with their richer sisters with childcare, with housekeeping, so to move to a country in which their own children would get a good education, and a roof over their head and be well fed. These are good desires, are they not?
And the Lord can think of a solution.
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And the Lord knows several secrets, which the fearful do not.
2) The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. He knows the world produces enough food to feed everyone. He knows there will be enough, even if the rich world relaxes its immigration policies. Even if we have open borders on earth, as there are in heaven.
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Oh Christian, if your country has much of the world’s wealth, and you fearfully keep it for yourself, how does the love of God dwell in you?
I speak particularly to the citizens of America, since, oddly, I and my family are American citizens.
I believe the Lord reads cruel anti-immigrant laws and weeps at Alabama’s shame. I think he would just as soon not be associated with such courtrooms.
Dear American fellow-citizens: If you are not the descendant of native Americans or enslaved black Americans, you are an American citizen because America once opened her arms to tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of teeming shores.
Give as you have received, and you will receive as you have given.
If you provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
And when you see the naked, clothe him,
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. (Isaiah 58 7-9)
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O Christian, there is enough for you and the poor. Kindness and generosity and openness are always good– for individuals and societies. (Witness the success of immigration-based societies like America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia)
So, please, oh rich Christian brother and sister, if you cannot be an immigration advocate, please do not oppose immigration of your poorer fellow humans to your rich country.
They will add life, colour. They will work hard at needed jobs. They will pay taxes, eventually. They will contribute to your economy. Your mind and hearts will broaden.
There is always enough for the users, the abusers, the makers and the takers, the givers, the receivers, and your life will be enriched by your darker neighbours, their high-decibel music and their high-voltage food.
And perhaps, in that nursing home, when you are gently nursed by the kind Filipina, or saintly male nurse from Barbados when many of your own race scorn such work, or do it with brusqueness or a bad grace, you will be so, so glad you did not oppose immigration.
And, oh rich Christian, in 75 years, 50 years, 25 years, 5 years, today, you might well be living in the last and glorious multi-cultural society
There will be people there from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Rev 5:9).
Yes, jubilant Africans, tiger mother Chinese, the pushy, the noisy, the dirty, the messy, the illiterate, the vociferous, you will soon be elbow to elbow with them.
If you are lucky!
But if we arrive face to face with the King of Kings and have no reference letter from the poor (Matthew 25:31), let’s hope that none of us who selfishly retain the world’s wealth for ourselves, and our own countries will hear what the rich man in the Gospels heard, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony,” (Luke 16:25).