Governor Patrick's offer of space to house the children has brought them closer to home. Children. Without parents. Alone. Some of them are coming from as far away as Guatemala and Honduras. Many are coming but many die along the way. The journey is treacherous. Teens, tweens and even younger children are traveling alone across desert wilderness.
I have an image of these children crossing the border alone that I cannot shake. Their stories when you read them are heartbreaking. It is really bad in their homeland, dire. The regions they are coming from are unstable, filled with gangs, drugs and violence. The children are more like refugees than immigrants. Many of them have never been in school. They come here without much of a plan, hoping simply to live.
In the Biblical story, God's people cross a desert wilderness and face many perils along the way. They learn from this experience what it means to be a stranger in a strange land, and they do not forget. Instilled in God's people is a deep hospitality for the wayfarer and stranger. I hope that we as God's people can help these children.
I have listened to all the reasons why we should turn them away. I have listened to the risk we take as a Commonwealth in letting them stay. I understand. There is risk involved and there may be sacrifice. But my heart says to help. Should they come, I wonder if there is something we at the Highlands could do for them. We can at least pray.