As a group we went on a desert hike. We walked along a path taken by migrants into the United States.
The experience I had on this hike is more explanatory in description than any analysis I could give in this blog.
We crawled under barbed wire. We went up and down a rock wall. It was a grueling approximately two mile hike and we had plenty of water and rests along the way. We came across water stations where groups had left gallons of water and canned beans for migrants to consume.
On the walk we saw articles of clothing left behind.
We finally made it to a shrine for migrants where there were crosses, rosaries, and other keepsakes. There were also jugs of water hanging from trees so that the ravens could not get them. Here we sat down with the leader of this hike and reflected. During this reflection we were given a prayer for the migrant. This prayer was a call to action. It explained how we all could work for peace. Though we were praying to God to accomplish these tasks, there was an underlying tone that each of these things can be accomplished by humanity and more specifically God working through us. This is why this prayer made sense to me more than really anything else we had talked about up to this point, I felt like this could be accomplished and I could help.
The prayer follows:
Creator, full of love and mercy, whose own Son became a refugee and had no place to cal his own; look with mercy and compassion on our brothers and sisters who today are fleeing from poverty, homelessness, and hunger.
Protect them as they suffer mistreatments and humiliations on their journeys, are labeled as dangerous, and marginalized for being foreigners. Make them be respected and valued for their dignity. Touch with Your Goodness and Active Concern the many who see them pass.
Care for their families until they return to their homes, not with broken hearts but rather with hopes fulfilled. Inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; and guide all the people of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in you Reign of justice and love. Let it Be.
Part of our reflection at this migrant shrine was discussing a young woman who had died during the journey to the U.S. not far from that spot. John (our hike leader) ended our time at the shrine, after telling this young woman’s story, by saying may she rest in peace and may we be restless for peace.
This experience was a call to action, that I may be restless for peace.