Recently, we had the privilege of and extended visit with several extended family members. For a little over a week, they stayed here at the house, and we had some time to catch up a little bit.
We had dozens of conversations, some of which lasted until late into the night. It was a week of the old, unhealthy way of living to which I am prone by nature of my upbringing and natural wiring. I come from a family of night owls. It was worth it to spend a week like that, because it is so rare, and I don’t know how many more opportunities like that we’ll have on earth. But I am still tired…
Many of the conversations we had, though not all of them, had to do, in one way or another, with the broad subject of Christian faith and politics. There were several times when I found myself arguing with one, two or three of my family members. This is what we do. It was fun… usually. 🙂
One night, we were discussing the problem of immigration. (These family members are from Arizona and have had a front row seat to the specific situation which is going on down there now.) I did not disagree with what they said so much as with how they said it. All the talk was about “our country,” what “we” should do about “them,” and so forth.
My argument was that we should be thinking and speaking as Christians, rather than as Americans. I argued that, if we did so, we would be keeping in the forefront of our minds the fact that we are called to identify with the stranger and the alien. It seemed to me that, whatever conclusions we draw regarding immigration policy in the US, it should be obvious to us and to others that love is the driving force behind all our thought. If we think as Christians and speak in love, and then arrive at the same conclusions, then so be it. But until we do that, none of our conclusions or the thought processes which lead us to them should be trusted. And for my part, I am quite ready to have Christian thought and a heart of God’s love lead me to conclusions that are “liberal” [GASP!], if that be the case.
At one point in this conversation, it was suggested that it was necessary, because of all the violent crime that comes into the US with immigrants from Mexico, to deport all illegals and seal off the border. I replied that such measures would not actually stop the crimes from happening; it would only make them happen in Mexico, rather than in the US. The response I received was basically one which said, “That’s their problem, not ours.” I questioned whether such an attitude shows the kind of love toward people that our God calls us to.
This is just one example of the many sorts of things which we bandied about over the course of about nine days. Hopefully, I’ll soon get a chance to write about more of the week. I love these guys! Although I’m glad to be getting a little more sleep, I already miss them.