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The Resistance Prays

November 14, 2018
By Rev. Holly Clark-Porter

Today's Top Story

A group of LGBT migrants who were part of the massive caravan slowly marching toward the U.S. made it to the coastal border city of Tijuana on Sunday. They are the first of more than 3,600 Central Americans to reach the northern border of Mexico. - via NPR.

About 80 migrants, the majority of whom identify as LGBT, splintered off from the larger group in Mexico City after weeks of what they say was discriminatory treatment by local residents and other travelers. "Whenever we arrived at a stopping point the LGBT community was the last to be taken into account in every way. So our goal was to change that and say, 'This time we are going to be first,' " interviewee Cesar Mejia said.

"‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

"The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” - Matthew 20:8-16
Periphery of the Periphery
A few years ago, a white friend of mine with whom I had lost touch announced his engagement to a woman of color. I heard some rude grumblings about this engagement. So I messaged him. I, a lesbian, commiserated with him about being talked about by our town, and I told him that he’s got a friend in me, a fellow outsider. In response to my outpouring of love, vulnerability, and mutuality, he answered shortly, “We’re not the same.”

My heart broke similarly when I read this story from NPR. Here are a bunch of folks trying to reach the USA, fleeing from life-threatening situations, and yet still they - a group of outsiders as a whole - found a smaller group to single out, ridicule, and demean, pushing them further outside.

Oh, we, like the people working in the field, are so good at deciding what we deserve, who is better, and who is worse. It gives us power, especially when we feel powerless.

The bad guy here though is not simply the “more powerful” migrants in the caravan. That is not to say that I do not hold this group accountable for furthering hate. But I want to make sure we’re not just pointing fingers at folks who are already stressed, exhausted, scared, and, in the grand scheme of life, powerless. No doubt they feel powerless because the country they are headed towards keeps sending messages of “go home, we don’t want you.” Yet they keep going because it’s all they’ve got.

The first group is here - the outsiders to the outsiders. Praise God! Let’s show the LGBTQ migrants and the larger caravan that The Resistance welcomes them and loves them, and that in that love, they have power.
Think about how you’ve tried to gain power by pushing others out. And then don’t do that. Change, adjust, harness the power of love.

And when you yourself know just how powerful you already are, check this out: a Sanctuary Caravan of made up of US citizens who will meet the migrant caravan. You might not be able to physically join them, but wow, how powerful you could be in prayer and in support of them!
God who has wandered in the desert, remind us that your Word has and always will be itself a Caravan from the tents to the Temple with David and from the packs of Hondurans to the sanctuaries in Washington, D.C. Continue down the road with us as we celebrate our queer siblings at the border. And, even with flaws, let us continue to offer sanctuary and hope and the power of love to those who will be joining the LGBTQ migrants soon. We are all in this together. May it be so. Amen.
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