There is always a question that remains when I leave a retreat, a mission trip, or a pilgrimage: what now? It’s so easy to ponder and pray about these big picture problems when I’m immersed in the problems directly, but then I go home, and I am pulled right back into the old cycle of my daily life. Usually, it is hard for me to adjust.
Obviously, I can’t serve migrants breakfast from Omaha, so I focused on finding something that I could bring back. I’ve touched on this idea before, but I think it’s something that is always relevant, so I will mention it again. Compassion and mercy are not complicated. Migrants are technically breaking laws. Now, they are breaking laws that I don’t think are fair and will hopefully change, but they are breaking laws. If I look at these people as criminals without learning who they are or why they did what they did, I am missing the heart of the example Jesus set for us. He did not find the righteous and pat them on the back. He sought out the sinners, and showed they mercy and compassion. We are called to do the same. This extends past the migrant. This applies to every human we encounter.
I’ve kept this concept in the back of my mind on our journey home, and I hope the more I work at it, the more I can emulate Jesus.