More than 52,000 unaccompanied children were caught trying to cross the southern U.S. border in the first five months of this year. Between 60,000 to 90,000 such children are expected to have crossed by the end of 2014, and more than 140,000 are expected next year, according to the White House. That’s more than double the 24,668 that flowed across last year and triple the 13,625 children that came in 2012. P. J. TOBIA for PBS Newshour
The United States stands at a threshold. We either turn away these children and let them wander back to where they may be killed or otherwise harmed, or we take them in and take care of them. The camp in divided, but it should not be. God tells us to take care of the immigrant, to care for the refugee, because we are all immigrants traveling through this life.
What happens if we turn them back? The sixteenth chapter of the book of Ezekial speaks about what happened to Sodom when it ignored and oppressed the poor:
49-50 “‘The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them.”
The new testament also has a warning to us. The rich man in Luke 16 ignored the homeless man that was at his doorstep: 19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
We live in luxury in the United States. We are obese. We consume more than other countries. Yet, we have extreme poverty in our own country. How will we answer God when we are called? How will we explain our treatment of our fellow man? How will God judge us?