My girls Bible study started Tim Keller’s Generous Justice a few weeks ago, and it’s messing me up, in a good way. I’ve read Radical, I read a little of Don’t Waste Your Life, I’ve talked to people who have read Crazy Love, and they all sound the same. This one is a little different so far. This reminds readers the biblical mandate of taking care of the aliens and the poor in the Old and New Testaments. It was probably said in other books, but it’s hitting me now. I haven’t gotten farther than that, but I can only imagine what else it will tell me. It’s the kind of book that I read and think “I can never go back- what does this mean?!?”
One member of the BS is the amazing Lisa Watson who heads up a group called CMIRA- Christian Memphians for Immigration Reform Association. Here is an article in the Commercial Appeal that gives a little info as well: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/nov/17/show-of-solidarity/ . Recently they put on a movie called Welcome to Shelbyville, which was fascinating to me, and that I totally meant to blog about but forgot. Anyway, Lisa has been gently and slowly inserting mentions of this group in BS and today, for me, it clicked.
Last Tuesday, Cassandra mentioned the movie A Better Life, about an illegal Mexican alien in the U.S. trying to make something of life for him and his son. Today we went and saw the movie…and…I don’t know how to express how much it impacted me. We watched a man struggle to find money to try and maintain a business to be able to get his son into a better school, away from gangs and careless education. It’s so easy for other people to buy a house based on a good credit score, which isn’t that hard to obtain, buy your kid some school supplies, and drive to your job. But when you’re an illegal alien, you can’t do any of that. You can’t get a credit card, you can’t get a license, you don’t get to have a lot of say in your kid’s school PTA because you want to fly under the radar and be invisible. The police are the enemy, rather than the safeguard. People want to get out of their situations for whatever reasons, hoping America will be their solution, and it’s not always the case. I definitely am not as informed as Lisa or as much as I want to be, but something is pulling inside. I felt very convicted about complaining the past several weeks about my job and money situation. I actually complained to Bobby because I can’t buy clothes or shoes until I get a job. Really? REALLY? Our budget is tight, but we still have cable, we still eat plenty of food and can pay to fix Bobby’s car when it broke down last week.
I’m not trying to get on the soapbox of something I am not fully informed or aware of, but it’s true that that some people really do try and really don’t have opportunities. I probably wouldn’t have cared so much, but now that Keller is telling me every week that the Bible has clearly spelled out some things for us…I’m just getting a little jolted. I never do well when people tell me things (you “should” live here, you “should” care about this, you “should” volunteer here…) but when the Bible tells me, I can’t argue. I can only pray the Holy Spirit will filter this through us the way He wants it to be.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute…”
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the immigrant, the fatherless, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place'”.