A Christian Science perspective: Care and prayer for immigrant 'border children.'
The words "no child left outside' came sharply to me when I read of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Mexico, Central America, and elsewhere crossing the border into the United States.
Evidently, some come from families who feel conditions are so desperate and dangerous in their home areas that sending their children off on their own to a faraway land seems like the only option. Perhaps many may hold the hope that good fortune will overtake their children, while, at the same time, realizing they may never see them again.
When I heard this report in a lengthy and detailed news broadcast, I felt saddened. But that sadness dissolved quickly into a resolve to think about this problem more constructively and more prayerfully. As I often do, I then focused on seeing each child as his or her Father-Mother God is seeing them right now.
I know for certain that the love of God for each one of His children, be they little or big, leaves no one outside God’s loving care. No one is left outside home, for example, or without the necessary daily love and sustenance that each one needs.
It made me think of the biblical account of the baby Moses. At that time, Moses’ people were slaves in Egypt. To stem the population growth of the Israelites, the Pharaoh ordered every male Hebrew child killed. To save her baby, Moses’ mother placed him in a small ark made of bulrushes and set him adrift on the river, perhaps in the same spirit as today’s migrant children are sent north toward the US-Mexican border. Quite possibly, Moses’ mother did not know what would happen to him or if she would see him again.
But the Bible tells us that Pharaoh’s own daughter found the child floating safely among the reeds. She adopted the child as her own and gave the nursing of the baby over to the child’s natural mother. In this we can see the loving hand of God, for Moses grew into the great spiritual leader that we know of today.
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear” (Isaiah 59:1). This is what the Bible promises.
Certainly, it is never right for a young child to be without good parenting and to be totally on his or her own. But if this circumstance does come about, that child, no matter how young or apparently helpless, remains absolutely enveloped by the caring love of God. It does not matter what country the child is in at the time, nor what law is in that land. The care that child receives is a matter of God’s law of love being in force at all times for that child.
Another biblical story – that of the sending of Hagar and her child, Ishmael, off into the wilderness – vividly depicts this great lesson. Hagar assumed her child would die of thirst, so she “cast the child under one of the shrubs” (presumably to shade him as best she could) and separated herself from him so that she would not see his decline. But the Bible tells us that an angel soon spoke to Hagar, saying, “God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is” (Genesis 21:17). A well of water then appeared that she hadn’t seen before, and she and her son survived.
And so, God is able to hear each of His children no matter where they are and to love, companion, and care for them, regardless of the climate, the country, or any other circumstance.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, speaks in many places of this unstoppable parenting love of God. “Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation,” she says in the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 332). At another place in Science and Health she says, “ ‘God is Love’. More than this we cannot ask, higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go” (p. 6).
Children journeying alone for long distances to any country tugs at one’s heart. And who wouldn’t support in any way possible the private and governmental efforts to nullify the reasons and conditions that seem to make such treks necessary. Children and parents gathered into stable and progressive families is the first order of God’s love.
If a child were to appear in a basket on your doorstep or mine, we would pour all the heart’s love and resources available to care for that child that day and the next and the next. And we would reach out to community and governmental resources either to find the child’s rightful home or a new one where he or she would have the best chance for a happy and purposeful life.
This is the exact nature of the love of God, which is pouring forth kindness and care now upon those children who are either journeying to some far-off land or in that land already. This is a love that sees around all corners, that knows all things, that hears all things and can provide all things. This is the divine Love that is each child’s heavenly Parent.