Sobering Reality

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 9.14.57 PMIt came with the sight of a blue barrel and a high white flag on the side of the road, a sobering reality that I need to ask myself the difficult question, “Am I really ready to help someone in need?”

Within hours of arriving in South Texas for a 3 month winter ranch job, we were told that there are literally thousands of people here who are entering the United States illegally, and they are roaming around the desert in South Texas in trouble. Border patrol is a daily sight. Some “illegals,” as they call them, actually die in the Texas desert. Others wander into the road and flag people down to ask for help. There are so many every single week. Most are sick, thirsty, tired, injured, or worse, and very few find help. They walk hundreds of miles from home in search of something better, but sadly, many of them find border patrol, jail, and deportation. Nearly all of them are disliked by the people who “rightfully” call South Texas their home because they seemingly take away jobs from legal residents.

However, all of them are human. Every single one is a human created in God’s image. To say that we were appalled at the situation is an understatement. At first, I cried for days when no one was looking because I just couldn’t stop thinking about them, and when I saw a Border Patrol car speed into the ditch just behind me on the highway, two officers jump out and climb a fence to chase someone down, it made the reality just that more sobering. And now, nearly 2 months later, these images still haunt me, and although our time in South Texas was cut short and we no longer see these reminders every day, my heart is still heavy for the situation there.

We had serious talks with our little guys about why it’s not okay to call people “illegals” just like it’s not okay to call people “trash” or “dumb” or “whites” or “wetbacks” or “blacks” or any number of other things. (It’s a good thing they have a sociology nerd for a mother.) Overall, the thing that has bothered me most was that I wasn’t really ready or able to help them. I had nothing to give, no way to save their lives, no way to help them find a future. It is illegal to assist illegal aliens here, and there are even unmanned blimps riding through the skies day after day to monitor. But God sees more than those blimps. He sees more than the Border Patrol. He knows every single soul that is hungry, lost, desperate, injured, tortured. He knows every hair on the head of the young woman who died under a tree last year. He sees every single one, and He loves every single one. He created every single one in His image.

So, what can be done for them? Well, there are barrels along the road labeled AGUA, and they have high flags so that the people can find them. We are thankful they’re there, and while we were there we bought gallons of water to keep them stocked. We checked them. When someone crossed our path we did whatever we could and we showed him compassion. We talked to him. We listened to his stories. Many of them are afraid for their lives if they have to go back home. Most of them paid their last dollar to get to America. Many have nothing to go home to. So we pray.

We are asking God to reveal a long-term solution for them. We are asking Him to intervene and bring healing and help. We are asking Him to use us in some way, even though we’re no longer there. Every night when we lay our heads on our soft pillows in our comfy bed with clean sheets, we are praying for each one laying his or her head on the sand, listening for rattlesnakes, hoping no coyotes come by, cold or hot, hungry, injured, in pain. We believe solution is on the way, and we are thankful to now be aware of more than what has just been a news story to us in the past. Never again will we hear about the border situation and feel the same way again.We are forever changed, and for that, we are thankful for our time in Texas.

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