A while back, I posted a sermon about children. Grieving the many places where children endure unimaginable violation, it affirms our call to care for children:
In this place, I am reminded that God is at work in all places. And that sustains and challenges me to look for how God is at work and, as the Holy Spirit gives me grace, to join in that work.
Children have been in my heart and on my mind this week.
Faith in God in Christ have put them there.
And in this place, God invites us all to join in caring for the children. The children of this congregation. The children of this community. All the children, all God’s children of the world. May we hear and respond.
Today, my friend Laura Mariko Cheifetz posted a reflection on children “Children Aren’t Disposable“. She reaches a similar conclusion:
I think children matter. I think everyone’s child matters. I do not believe that parents or communities or even children need to be virtuous or free of fault in order to think their children and perhaps even their parents deserve protection and generosity. You can make all the bad decisions you want, but I still believe you and your children deserve life. I extrapolated this from the lesson my parents drummed into me: You do not have to earn grace. It has already been given.
Children matter. Their families matter. Grace has already been given. Let’s act like it.
And she does a better job of lifting up ways to act:
Support the Children’s Defense Fund. They do great work at a policy level.
Read Toxic Charity. Consider changing your mission to be less charity and offers more agency to people. Bulk discounts (for your Sunday school or book group) are available. http://www.thethoughtfulchristian.com/Products/9780062076212/toxic-charity–paperback-edition.aspx
Write letters to migrant children. http://www.groundswell-mvmt.org/faithshare/people-are-writing-letters-to-the-migrant-children-and-they-are-beautiful/
Advocate for immigration reform that will allow people dignity and a path to regularization. Congress has recessed for August, so there isn’t legislation to advocate for. But you can still leave a message with your U.S. and state congresspeople urging them to support meaningful immigration reform and humane immigration processes, particularly for children and their parents who may be eligible for asylum, rather than increased criminalization and security measures. TheThoughtfulChristian.com has many books and downloadable studies to help you and your church talk about immigration and take action.
Oppose zero-tolerance policies in schools, stop and frisk public policing, and other ways that disproportionately criminalize black and brown youth.
You may give to UNICEF and UNRWA, who work with children in Gaza and the occupied territories. You can also ask your congresspeople to reconsider our typical military aid package to the nation of Israel. You could work with local peace organizations to advocate for an end to the blockade and the occupation.
Children matter. Join in caring for them.
See you along the Trail.