Crisis at your border


With the flood of children from Central America crossing over our southern borders into uncertain futures, we can feel overwhelmed at the immensity of the crisis.

What can one person do?

These words from Thomas Keating in Invitation to Love are helpful to me. Perhaps to you too.

Father Keating:

     As they sense the enormity of the global problems of hunger, oppression, and peace, they ask the question, “What can I as a single individual do?”

     Others may put the same basic question in this way: “How can I contribute to peace and justice when I myself am under the influence of my selfish desires for more pleasures and more security symbols, and the fear of losing control of my life situation?”

     The same question might be put in a slightly different way. “Do I have to wait until I have been completely purified before I can begin to serve others or practice the corporal works of mercy?”

     To this Jesus replies, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matt. 25:35). In the light of these words, the exercise of compassion does not sound like a big deal. It could mean giving someone a cup of water, a smile, or showing concern to someone suffering a loss.

     We do not have to wait until we can speak at the United Nations or go to Moscow for a summit conference. Somebody is in need right next door, in our family, at work, on the bus—everywhere we turn.
– Thomas Keating

Someone in need will cross our personal borders today. For most of us, it won’t likely be one of the migrating children.

But whoever God sends to us, may we notice and may we act in whatever way he equips us.

* * *

Want to do more?

My nephew Colton works for Healing Hands International. He recommends the MA.G.I. project as one way to get needed supplies directly to the children who have crossed the border into Harlingen, Texas. They will partner with a local church and the Texas Border Patrol to distribute them.


22 thoughts on “Crisis at your border

  1. Linda@Creekside

    one hand to hold, one mouth to feed, one voice to listen to, one meal to prepare, one soul to pray with, one post to pen.

    one . @ . a . time

    and He steps in and multiplies our feeble efforts like loaves and fishes.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thank you, Linda, for bringing up the loaves and fishes parable. I hadn’t thought of it here, yet it is exactly what God continues to do even today. All is grace. Yes, one at a time.

  2. Pamela

    Personal borders. I love that because I sometimes look at that huge mess with precious children and wonder what can be done. I still don’t know but I do want to intentionally notice those crossing my personal boarders. Thank you for sharing about M.A.G.I. It’s good to know someone personally involved. ~Pamela

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I feel better about donating to causes where I know a face behind them. My nephew Colton is relatively new in the family (he married my niece) and he has a great heart so I look forward to what all he’s going to bring to my attention in the coming years. I’m glad God continues to expand my own borders!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly. God never leaves us without opportunities, wherever we are or wherever we go. He can always find a spot to use us to love others if we’re willing.

  3. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! I really like the way you said that people will cross our borders today. What a great visual.
    I remember being in a small group, and one of the members was so overwhelmed at the call to be involved in the lives of everyone she met. It seemed so impossible! But just a cup of water means service. Just a smile means welcome.

    Great resource to help the people so trapped down south.
    And you know how much I love Thomas Keating!
    Wednesday blessings,

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      When we look at the whole crowd, it is definitely easy to get overwhelmed. I can relate to the member in your small group. But yes, just one at a time, one cup of water, one smile, is doable.

      Glad we both share a love for Thomas Keating! I finished Invitation to Love a few days ago. So rich.

  4. Janet

    Lisa, my heart is crying for this situation at the border. I have friends in both Texas and Arizona who sound so hard – send them back – they say. But I, too, keep going back to Matthew. It’s compassion. They. Are. Children. I wrote a story today and posted to #TellHisStory – but I couldn’t bring myself to show the true ending – I could only write what I wished would happen. Thank you for sharing practical means for helping those kids and families.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The fact that they are children is what tugs at my heart the most too, Janet. 🙁 I don’t know how to fix the problem, but we do have to show compassion when and however we can.

  5. Mia

    Dear Lisa
    Yes, my heart also breaks when I especially see children suffer. In South Africa it is also extremely bad. When Jesus becomes our Life, we cannot but desire to help others in need. When we do, we won’t even remember what we gave done, because it comes just so naturally!
    Luv XX

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know you have a sensitive heart toward any kind of injustice, Mia. I love that about you. I can’t imagine some of the things you’ve probably seen or heard that go on in South Africa. I’m glad you spread Jesus through your words to so many there and around the world through your blog.

  6. Betty Draper

    Great reminder Lisa. So often I have felt overwhelm by the needs all around us that it would keep me from doing anything. Living overseas in a third world country taught me a lot about taking one day at a time, one person at a time. One cannot fill all needs but one can fill one need. Blessings

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I imagine living overseas would teach you that lesson quicker than living over here where we have so much “plenty”. Thanks for sharing that insight, Betty. When we’re so surrounded by need, we have no choice but to just take one at a time, or else we’d be paralyzed into doing nothing.

  7. Barbara H.

    The needs of the world can be so overwhelming. Thanks for the reminder that all I need to do is obey God step by step and minister one by one as He heads. I like that another commenter brought up the loaves and fishes. We can never do it all or do enough, but He can multiply what’s done to fill the need.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I liked the loaves and fishes reminder too because on our own, our resources are inadequate. But God holds all the resources in his hand and he can multiply anything at all. I still don’t understand how or why he distributes them as he does (he’s given me way more than my fair share, I know that), but I trust that he knows what he’s doing and will keep prodding us along to participate with him.

  8. Beverley

    It is very sad that children are having to go without. I know that parents do these things with good intentions, but sometimes i think they wear rose coloured spectacles and have thoughts that the US and for me the UK streets are paid with gold when they are not. In the UK we have had our influx of Eastern Europeans and i get it, having spoken to some of them, but there’s no gold here.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I hope too that the parents do this with the best of intentions, but it’s still hard to imagine sending your child to a foreign country on their own. I guess they are so very desperate that they don’t know what else to do.

      I’ve recently been the giver of bad news to some of my international friends who see the US as the easy land of opportunity. It is full of opportunities, but it’s not easy, especially when you come from somewhere else and don’t speak the language. 🙁 I know you understand; same as the UK. There are many privileges, but no gold streets on any continent down here.

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