Bill Schlesinger 05-08-2018
So El Paso is the town (or next to the town - Tornillo) holding the kids torn from their families at the border. We've gotten national attention. People want to give to address this issue. The starfish story comes to mind - the little boy walking on the beach that has thousands of starfish stranded, while he throws a handful back into the ocean. 'Won't make any difference,' says his father. 'It will to this one,' says the boy, throwing another one back. But charming - and true - as that story is, we are/I am complicit in a world that creates begging and 'detained' children. And I am not alone. My mentor - dead many years - said, 'It is not moral to pray for an end to suffering without building a plan to do just that.' So we try to figure out ways to get kids and families access to options they can choose, and try to figure out how to stop fighting among ourselves while we do that, and how to work around all the obstacles and frustrations, and still deal with the person who 'shows up at our kitchen door (Lest Innocent Blood be Shed - if you haven't read it you might look at it). And in all of that, we're not doing the work this passage discusses.
The work of the center of life is to trust that neither our arrogance nor our despair is the final word. We will have everything taken away sooner or later. We will die. And so will all our relatives and loved ones. It is in giving ourselves to that death, without defense, that we take Jesus' death into ourselves and trust. We die, and we rise in compassion, forgiveness, and responsibility for what is around us - even as we are over-whelmed (baptism meant being 'whelmed' in Greek). FWIW