HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED GOING TO A SCHOOL?
“Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them;
for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”
I imagine a little girl standing there after being interrogated finally saying:
Why do you ask how old I was when I first went to school? What difference would it make if I was 1, 5, 10 or 50? Do you think I had a choice? Do you think that I would have said no if I had the chance to go? Kids back home are willing to die to learn! We know it’ll set us free. Do you think if I felt safe in the school I would be standing here? No sir, I would be working on standing in your place!
For goodness sakes, I don’t even remember when I last ate, or even when I last slept! You want to ask me?
Go ahead, why don’t you ask me what I know? Let me make it easy by telling you:
I know that I don’t remember my own mother’s face nor that of my dad. Violence tore us apart.
I know I badly want to sleep at night, without being worried about getting killed.
I know I memorized one phone number for this journey, one upon which my future depends.
I know if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t be here! But life is just not fair.
I know that despite my age, the color of my skin, my education or anything my government did or did not do, I deserve to live.
Most importantly, what I know for sure and none of you can take away is, I know that Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” (Luke 18:16).I am a child of God; we are all God’s children! I know God would never ask about one’s education, status, age or even race before healing, helping or even dying for them. God loves us all just the way we are and holds us very tight.
So, while you might judge me, you’d be wrong in doing so. Keep asking questions to categorize me, but remember God is watching you, and to God these categories don’t exist for we are all created in God’s image. So while governments might build walls, God is breaking down all divisions. You might try to make me feel worthless, but to God I matter.
~Dana Abu Ghazleh, MDiv student
This blog is part of a 16-piece series for MIGRATION & HOLY WEEK composed by the students and instructors CTS Contextual Immersions J-Term 2022 Courses on Immigration at the U.S.-Mexico Border. Because of COVID, both the planned travel seminar and the virtual seminar joined for a fully online zoom-based two-week seminar. Instructors compiled, edited the offerings into this series. We hope that this series that integrates our studies and themes of Lent will pose questions for all of us to contemplate and respond to in our life of faith.