The Good Samaritan
The issue of immigration in the United States has been a controversial political topic for a long time. Meanwhile, people are suffering while we wait on our politicians to fix the problem. But I myself could not ignore the crisis. I could not ignore those who are living in fear and are oppressed in the United States. I have decided to write this article. I hope we find a solution for the problem very soon. I mean very soon.
The immigration system in the United States has been broken for a long time; no one fixes it. We have come together to find solutions to many of our problems, but have neglected the immigration problem. We spend most of our time speaking out against it, instead of finding a solution. We wait, hoping that eventually it will fix itself. We spend our time saying, “They are here illegally. They are not paying taxes. They are destroying our country. We do not have any shelter for them. They must go back to their home.” These are the things we say instead of working together to find a solution to the problem.
There are approximately twelve million immigrants living in the United States. They are known primarily as “undocumented immigrants or illegal aliens.” They have come from many different parts of the world. Though there are many other countries they could have chosen, they chose the United States.
Why do people immigrate to the United States? History has answered this question many times before. The United States is well known as a nation of immigrants. Mary Antin wrote in her memoir, The Promised Land, “At last I was going to America! Really, really going, at last! The winds rush in from outer space in ears, America! America!”
People have been coming to the United States for years. Today, they still do. This is the United States’ history. And no one can take that away.
I have had the opportunity to meet many of those immigrants myself. I have worked with many of them. They are some very hardworking people. Some of them happen to be members of my own family. They have talked to me and I have listened to them. They have told me about the struggles they faced in their homeland. They have told me about their dreams and hopes.
They told me, “The United States is the only place that makes life seem possible for us. Our dreams and hopes feel alive. But we are afraid we might not be able to live here. We feel oppressed sometimes.”
It has been a while now since I became a Christian. I have spent a great deal of time studying the Bible. I have learned many wonderful things. God has revealed to me things that I did not know before. I have learned about Jesus Christ, the Savior of our world. Jesus is remembered as having compassion for the needy, the oppressed, the heartbroken, and the captives. He dedicated most of his life to helping those in need. Furthermore, He laid down His life for our sins.
As a Christian, I have been taught to follow the example of Christ Jesus. I must be willing to do what He would do. In the gospel of Mark 12:31 Jesus command us this prime commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."
The twelve million undocumented immigrants have become neighbor to all Americans, but some of us have fail to love them. Jesus knew the important of love throughout His teaching He spoke about it. Again, in the gospel of John 13:34 He command His diciples, "That you love one another as I loved you."
I’m certain that we can obey the Lord commandment.
As a follower of Christ, every time I think about the immigration crisis, I think of Jesus. When I see the oppression and the fear these men, women, and children are facing in the United States, I take time to think of Jesus Christ. Then I ask myself this question: what would Jesus do?
As I read the Bible, I found answers to life’s most important questions. I want to share one story with you.
Jesus tells us a powerful story in the gospel of Luke, precisely chapter 10. He said, “A certain man who went from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothes, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion, and he helped him.” At the end of the story, Jesus referred to the Samaritan as a great man because he had done the right thing, and He has commanded us to follow the samaritan’s example.
Since Jesus told us to follow the Samaritan’s example, I have taken some significant time to meditate on that powerful story. As I meditate, the first thing that comes to mind is those men, women, and children who ran away from their countries’ calamities to seek a better life in our nation. They come here and they work hard to contribute to our society. They build schools, hospitals, bridges, roads, and so forth. They work in factories. They work on farms so that we have food to eat. Socially, they have become vital members of the loving family encompassed in the phrase, “We The People.” But legally, they are merely the undocumented immigrants on the corner waiting to get picked up for a day of labor.
Immigrants have always played a big part in the progress of the United States. Our resplendent infrastructure would not have been possible without the enormous contributions of immigrants. Without their labor, our farms would be desolate. But when the time comes for us to help them, we turn our back on them, ignore them, and pass them by. Instead of helping, we offer empty promises. We spend most of our time speaking out against them, at times we oppress them, threaten them with deportation, and leave them half dead down Jericho’s road.
For so long immigrants have been treated as if they have done wrong for coming to the United States, the land that proudly promises freedom, safety, and a better opportunity for all. Though we know we are a nation of immigrants, there are many among us who try to ignore the history of our country. Long ago, we used to go to look for people to populate our new country. Now some of us say that immigrants are criminals for seeking a better place to live in the universe created and governed by the Almighty God.
This immigration crisis can surely remind us of the Israelites in Egypt. Once upon a time, more than three thousand years ago, the Israelites found themselves oppressed in Egypt under Pharaoh’s regime. Egypt was a rich country. God’s children used to go there to look for bread to eat and to search for a better life.
The story tells us that Pharaoh charged the Israelites with heavy labor but he did not really care about their needs. Instead, he oppressed them and used them for years. It came to pass that the Israelites could not take it any longer. The burden had become too heavy for them. Pharaoh’s yoke was not easy, and his burden was not light. So the Israelites cried out to the Almighty, and He delivered them from the oppression of Egypt. I am not claiming that immigrants are the new Israelites, but God will not let His children under oppression forever.
The Bible tells us that His ears are always inclined to the cries of the oppressed. He always comes to the rescue of His people. We know who He is. For we have seen Him in history so many times. He is a God of justice and freedom. He is a God of love and peace. He is a righteous God. He is gentle. He is a compassionate God. He is mighty. He has the power to deliver his children.
Now, this situation has led me to these final questions: Will we be the priest to these people, or the Levite, or the good Samaritan whose example Jesus Christ told us to follow?
I have a message for our nation. It marked urgent.
America! These men, women and children are not moving toward a promised land, but toward a promise in the promised land. They are joint heirs with Christ, as they move towards that promise. And if we, the United States, is to remain the great nation that we are today, we shall not turn away from those who reach out to us for help. If we are to be the nation under God, we shall have compassion and help these people! Yes, we are the leader of this free world. So let us lead as Christ would lead. He has given us an example and commandments to follow. We must obey.
We must make justice and freedom a reality for all God’s children. The love of Christ shall rise for all God’s children. Let us remain in Christ so shall He remain in us. America is the greatest and the most powerful nation on earth because God has blessed us. And He has trusted us to be a blessing onto others. Genesis 12:1 says, “I will bless you, and you shall be a blessing onto all families of the earth.”
We shall never get weary in doing the good things that the Almighty God has commended us to do, for in due time, we will have our reward. We shall feed those who are hungry. We shall shelter those who need a safe place to live. And we shall provide opportunities for those who seek a better future.
“Truly, I say to you that when you do these things unto the least of the brethren you do it unto me.” Matthew 25:40
God bless you.
Written by Rolson St Louis
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