20 February 2017
Modern-Day Lepers ~ Our Tarnished Colossus
Greetings Dear Reader,
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name,
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she
With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’”
For those of you who do not recognize this, it is the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. It is titled “The New Colossus”. This was a gift given to us because of our habit of taking in those who needed freedom and refuge. It was an acknowledgement of our care for those who needed a safe place to stand whilst they got their footing.
I think we have forgotten that we need balance in all things. We need to allow those who cannot harm us to have that refuge with as little difficulty as possible. We need to vet everyone carefully without harming them in the process. We also need to remind them that with freedom comes responsibility. We need to assure that we protect our own without violating the needs of those seeking sanctuary.
We have reacted to betrayal and treachery with too broad a stroke. We see to it that anyone who needs care gets it. Once again, we are so wealthy that we can afford to find a way to help. We also need to assure that we protect and care for our own in the process. Instead of finding reasons why we should not help we need to stop seeing them as lepers and seeing them as humans who are to be loved and valued.
Those seeking aid must also remember that it is a privilege to be taken in by us. We are obligated but they are as well. They need to value their culture without trying to destroy ours. We need to honor the differences and work toward the common good. It all sounds idealistic but it is also possible. Perhaps if we saw the common ground and the common needs we could find the common good.
We need to remember we are supposed to be a united people not clusters of sects. Our infinite diversity can combine to make us a stronger unified people if we allow it. We can all rise together if we choose to. We can stop treating other cultures who need us as lepers if we wish. It could become our habit to be good to everyone. Under her tarnished green patina lies bright bronze beauty that we can rediscover if we wish.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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