I couldn’t be in my wife’s skin when she carried our child for nine months. I couldn’t feel the embryo transform into a fetus that stretched her belly and burdened her body, but that day by day revealed more and more the marvel that would grant me fatherhood. When she gave birth, my bystander status ended, I had to learn much, but the one thing I knew instinctively was that for as long as I lived, I’d do whatever it took to keep my child safe. I’m sure this sense of responsibility comes to all parents, in the same way at about the same time.
So it’s no surprise we see this commitment acting itself out in the actions of the asylum seekers now pressed against our southern border, the ones being arrested—the one’s being ripped apart from their children. Reason tells us that people throughout the world are like us and that they’d bravely suffer for their children, and that they’d grieve profoundly, if they lost them.
Psalms 31:7 says “I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.” As mortals we cannot truly feel the physical and mental grief of our fellow parents when beset by strangers who, like King Herod, upon hearing about the birth of Christ, strip their babies from the mother’s bosom. It tears the fabric of one’s soul. Words like agonizing, excruciating, or numbing only imprecisely describe the pain from the loss of a child. But, we can empathize, and that should cause us to feel sickened by this cruelty.
Ask ourselves, what kind of people are we if we accept the brutality that our government now wages against these parents and their children. What kind of people are we if we stand by leaders that punish a child and parents for reacting to poverty, violence, and wanting to find a secure place to live. What kind of human being would carry out a police action that destroys or cripples forever, children and mostly young mothers, who are people, just like us?