Each morning during Lars's diaper change, I tell him what's going on in the world. I realize he's 7 months old, but it's a habit I want to form. It's almost as much for me as it is for him. Staying home can feel rather isolating at times, and it's important to me to stay informed and connected to the world. Yesterday I just couldn't though. I just cried when I tried to tell him what's going on. So, instead, we finished the diaper change, walked to the living room, turned on an old hymn and held each other while swaying and watching out the window. We swayed there, Lars's head on my shoulder and my tears dripping on his, for 3 songs (which is practically eternity for a 7 month old attention span).
Alex and I do not affiliate with one political party. We usually lean a little left, but we see value in some right sided issues as well. People we love and respect sit on both sides. We have many conversations around our table, about both perspectives in most circumstances. We want to know what people from each side are thinking before we land on a belief. It's something we really want to instill in our children - critical and independent thinking. But yesterday, I just couldn't. The most overwhelming feeling in my heart is a tremendous depth of sadness. I hate to admit this, but the experience of a refugee family became more clear to me than it ever has before. I started to wonder what it would be like to raise a son in a country where he might try to be recruited for terrorism, or a daughter in a country where she would be killed for having an education. My imagination grew more vivid as I thought about living in a country where our child could be an orphan because of what Alex and I believe in. How could we raise a child while living in constant fear? Surely we wouldn't stay. Surely we would do what was best for our beloved son. We would risk our lives for his freedom. We would leave everything if it meant there was a place where he could be safe. What parent wouldn't do that?
I'm devastated at the thought of that family getting to our border, only to be detained or to find a wall. This is not what we believe in our home. This couldn't be any further away from what we believe.
Our doors are open here. Our table always has space, and we refuse to live our lives out of fear. Because, the moment we allow our fear to override our humanness, we stop living. And when we stop living, we deprive ourselves from feeling everything, including joy and love: the only thing we could ever want for our children…. joy and love.
So, this week, I will tell Lars about love. I will tell him about the love God has for him, and how it's the same love God has for every person in the world. I will tell him that when he feels this love, it's a teaching. It's a guide for how to treat others and a guide for his actions in our world.