I met a forest of trees this morning. The pines exploded toward the sky like rockets. The ground was covered in a dense rug of clovers. There were no borders in this sanctuary, just an invitation for communion. I spoke the words of Jesus to the trees in this place, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me in.”
As I stood in silence in this space, a Mayan spiritual guide joined me. “The Mayans ask for all people to join the God, who represents all people,” he beckoned. For the spiritual guide, there were no borders to the forest and there were no borders to God.
Borders are an important topic of conversation right now.
Conversation of who is in and who is out seems to be all the rage.
The truth is that the United States has left out most of the developing world already. The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) has successfully pillaged the countries of Central America, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. We want to close the borders, but it is our economic policies that have destroyed the lives of those trying to get in. In turn, they must risk theirs in order to support their families. We consistently create borders to true communion.
The forest is a good metaphor. There were no boundaries of communion in the forest. It was beautiful. In our forest, will those we encounter be able to use the words of Jesus, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me in?”
There are people right now standing at our borders, the literal and metaphorical ones. They are standing at the borders we have created nationally, locally, and as individuals. Folks of various races, genders, orientations, identities, races, nationalities, religions, and statuses, all knocking and asking for true communion. Will we open the table?
How long will we sit around and try to figure out ways to partially open the door of communion? The truth is that we are either welcome the stranger or we don’t. There is no place called between. For the people at our borders, between is the place where they die in the desert starving for hope.
May we be the radicals who make the choice to believe in love and communion above all constructs of borders.