What you believe about the Statue of Liberty, immigration, disability, and our current US administration tells me everything I need to know about how you feel about Jesus and how you feel about me.
There has been a recent change to the immigration policy in the United States. It states that whether a person is admissible to the United States or not will be based on his or her likelihood of becoming a public charge at any time in the future, as set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Great, right?! Except how can you know? Beyond the obvious discrimination of people with disabilities like me, many of whom are fleeing violence, etc., it could be YOU at any time. Becoming disabled can and does happen at ANYONE. Further, if you live long enough you will almost certainly become disabled. Bodies don’t last forever without breaking down.
So, what does this mean? Unless you are super rich and elite, keep out? That’s sure what it seems like. What about Medicare? If you enter the country at a younger age and never need any public assistance, something you cannot know unless you are super rich, will you be eligible later in life? Does this exclude someone from coming to this country too? It’s a moving target.
Quite simply, we are moving toward eugenics. This should scare you into action!
I know it won’t. I’ve been around nondisabled people long enough to know how little they think beyond their immediate concerns. You just don’t see yourself as me.
This is why we have a long history of locking away our disabled and elderly people. If you don’t see them, you don’t have to believe you will be them. You are wrong!
Speaking of long history, our current US administration recently stated that the words on the Statue of Liberty were for immigrants coming from Europe too.
I know, racism, shocking… Except, you should be shocked! You should be shocked into action against this administration and its policies. You have a voice. Use it!
Read more on both these things here or just look at the news or use a search engine. If you are uniformed or unshocked, you may be the problem.
Furthermore, any notion that you can support this administration while calling yourself Christian or pro-life is a farce.
(Admittedly, I’m afraid to make this connection not because it is untrue, but because some have used this as justification to say the Church should be charged with charity, healthcare, and supports instead of the government.)
Frankly, you are not just wrong, the Church is pretty bad at these things. Feel free to ask me about accessibility.
That’s just it. These people claim to be Christians yet the sit in direct opposition to Jesus.
In case you haven’t looked in a while, he takes the powerful in this world and turns them, and their systems, upside down. I mean, Jesus literally tells the rich guy to sell all his stuff and give it to the poor. (Matthew 19:21-22)
Rudderless Ship Assailed by Stormy Seas Wave Battered Sinking No Release
As Smiles Abound.
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” – Matthew 16:18
Do you ever wonder if others can really see you; not just what’s on the surface but underneath? It probably doesn’t happen most of the time. We’ve become good hiders.
That’s what I love about the dynamics between Jesus and his disciple, Peter.
Peter gets it wrong as much as right. He sinks in water instead of focusing on Jesus. He goes around chopping off ears. Still, Jesus sees and loves him. He sees the possibilities behind the fearful surface Peter exudes.
That’s the heart of God. It does the same for us. It strips away all the coverings of brokenness and finds the good underneath. Yet, I still wrestle with this.
I know God can see me completely, but I still cover it up. Talk about hubris.
I hide my true self from others too. Vulnerability is scary. They won’t accept me if they know my weaknesses.
Except, we all have weaknesses. Some of us might be better at hiding them but we all have weaknesses, fears, insecurities, and shortcomings. So, what if we didn’t hide them?
Maybe we’d all be better off if we were a little more honest with ourselves and each other. Maybe, we could engage in meaningful conversation and begin to break through all our divisions.
I don’t think it’s easy. Being vulnerable might be more difficult for us than building equitable systems and relationships and, frankly, we are pretty bad at both these things.
However, since I have to start somewhere. Maybe this change starts with me.
I hope you’ll join me in building coalitions of love, justice, vulnerability, and equity. In doing so I believe we are truly being faithful disciples of Jesus.
What do you think?
God, you see my heart.
You know my hurts and pains. You sit with me in my brokenness and comfort me. Use me as you will to be open to the hearts of others. Help me be open too that I might sit with them and together we might know your peace even amidst sadness and uncertainty. May this be my prayer.
Amen. Wherever you are this day: Love Accepts You, No Exceptions.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? – Matthew 6:25-27
I’m in a lot of pain today.
Truthfully, I’m in pain everyday but, as often happens with disability, sometimes pain hits you hard. It’s too great to move on, literally.
The last several days, I’ve really been struggling. Chronic pain can be cruel that way.
Stress certainly doesn’t help and stress, both internal and in the world around us, abounds. That’s where rest comes in. Sometimes, by force.
This is one of those times. So, I’m not going to write a lot today, mostly, because I can’t.
Then, I’ll pick back up when I can.
I think that’s the point of the above scripture.
It’s not that you shouldn’t fight against the ways of the world. Don’t forget, this scripture comes right after the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.
Resist if you can and, if you aren’t in the fight at all or enough, begin! Start today!
It’s just that, ultimately, God’s Love carries on even when I can’t go further.
Remember that, justice warriors.
Take care of yourself and each other.
There will never be a shortage of injustice to fight.
Just look around.
Wherever you are this day: Love Accepts You, No Exceptions.