Growing up as a twin, birthday celebrations always included going out the day of my birthday and inviting all the kids from my neighborhood over for an impromptu cake and ice cream social. My mother never wanted to plan a party because that meant with a tight budget, we’d have to buy gifts for all the other kids when their birthdays came around. It was a frugal choice but the correct one; you can’t buy gifts and feed everyone.
This summer the tsunami of illegal immigrants crossing our borders has in essence, popped the collective balloons of the nation’s party. U.S. Officials have learned quickly that citizen ‘parents’ don’t want to pay for this party where the guest list far outstrips the proverbial cake and ice cream.
Ask anyone who has purchased a meal for a homeless person or placed them in a hotel for a night, we want to do it because in reality most people have a heart. But Americans draw the line when that same homeless person muscles their way into the house, doesn’t want to leave, and forces everyone to call him Uncle Bob. Most people like to give gifts, but when that person no longer says thank you and “expects” it, our generosity wanes.
Jesus tells us in the Good Book that the “poor will always be among us.” That means no matter what we do collectively or legislatively, we will NEVER end the world’s sufferings. I see politicians decrying the public backlash against this onslaught of wannabe Americans. They criticize protesters as “heartless, and un-American, but what I don’t see is any of those same legislators taking these same young illegal immigrants into their own homes or towns. They just want us to do all the sacrificing.
When I think of the current immigration crisis I recall a story of the American West. An Indian guide and cowboy were commissioned to scout out an area for possible homesteaders. Due to warring Indian tribes and wild animals, the course they were to take was dangerous. The Indian who knew the area better, promised to take the lead as scout while the cowboy would lag behind to watch for hostile enemies and danger.
It was late afternoon on the second day when the cowboy finally caught up with the Indian. On a crooked path prostrate, the Indian lay with his ear to the ground. The cowboy walking slowly up to him, then heard the Indian saying haltingly with many pauses, “Big Wagon Train, 12 horses, 8 men, 6 women, 3 dogs, 2 cows, and one burro.” Stunned the cowboy exclaimed, “You can tell ALL that by just listening to the ground?” To which the Indian replied, “No, it ran over me an hour ago!”
America, I believe we’ve been run over!