I ache because I know pieces of your story, and I ache because your daughter was taken from you. I am sorry for all you have been through, and that all of that was not the worst of it. I am sorry that you are now separated from your child, and you don’t know when you will see her again. I am sorry that my government thought it would be the right thing to do to separate your family, and I am sorry that my people, my country voted in these leaders who made these horrific decisions. There is no way we can say enough sorrys; but we must own that a portion of this responsibility is on us.
When I think about all that you have been through and all the reasons you tried to come live in the United States, I begin to breathe heavily--the burden feels too much to bear even for me, as a bystander of the story. You are one of the strongest women I know, and you are a warrior. It is so incredibly sad that in this world we focus so much on celebrity gossip and Twitter wars, but I need you to know that there are some of us, a group of us who are focusing on you. There is a group of us, a group I belong to, of Christian women who care. We don’t know exactly what to do, but we are trying to do something. But it’s not just my group who cares, not just my label of religion. There are others who do not identify as Christians and they care too, and I am grateful—GRATEFUL—for them. And I know that God cares. He feels, he weeps, he knows, and he loves you deeply. I know that is much easier for me to say, as I sit in my home writing this with all of my unseparated children here with me behind doors, not behind bars. I know it is much easier for me to say, coming from a life that has suffered so little in comparison to what you have been through. You are right. It is easier for me to say. But I still believe it, and I hope you believe it too. Christ who came to earth without powers, without pedestals, without riches came to make crooked paths straight, to bring justice to a world full of injustice. Oh how I wish he could just ride in on a white stallion and magically, powerfully make all the bad go away and return your children to you at this very second! Yes I do wish that. Maybe you wish it too. Maybe you think that if He doesn’t, He isn’t God. I am tempted to think that too.
Please know that he is right there with you. He is the tears you cry and the shoulders you lean on. He is the voice of Hope that says this story is not over. And the Holy Spirit, she is the wind that carries your cries outside of those cell doors and brings them to our ears. She is the breath that comes out of your mouth every moment despite your desire to never speak again; she is the one that covers you with a cloak of justice, the hope that says people reap what they sow. She is the real Lady Liberty that welcomes you onto her land, a place where no one is turned away, where the huddled masses actually do get to breathe free. No, she is not America, she is better. She is greater. So hold onto her, because she reaches out for you. Hold onto her because she brings inexplicable shalom. Hold onto her not because she will make all your nightmares go away, but because she will always lay down next to you and stroke your hair as you attempt to sleep through the nightmares. She takes some of those nightmares and burdens off you and lays them on me.
Hold onto her because she is real, and she is love, and your story is not yet over. No this is not the end. Hold on, and when your hands get tired of holding, I will do my best to lift them up.
Dear Mama. You are strong. You are stronger than American policies. You are stronger than American politics. You are who we want to be. Hold on, and teach us how to hold on too.
Dear Mama, you are loved. Your burden is our burden. We will fight together.