This last week many of us were studying the story of the Israelites’ oppression in Egypt. God turned my heart to remembering newcomers in the United States, God’s people who aren’t documented by our government.
At Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference one of my friends asked us what we were going to do as a Conference about undocumented people whom God has called to ordained ministry in our church. I suppose I’ll blame the fact that I’m on white for the fact that I never considered this possibility before. But I’ll also give credit to the fact that I’m gay for the instant appreciation and solidarity I felt once she said this.
As the king of Egypt in the Exodus story showed, there is a very small distance between thinking that someone doesn’t have the right to exist in your land and thinking they don’t have the right to exist at all. Oppressive policies lead very quickly to extermination. Hurting leads to death. So I’m fearing for the very lives of people who are subject to persecution because of their land of origin or path to this country. And I’m fearing for the total safety of people facing any type of persecution.
Like the Exodus story, brave solidarity will save us. Solidarity like the maidens, the mothers, the sisters, the midwives and Pharaoh’s daughter showed to the Israelites. The women showed it to the Israelite boys because they knew what it was like to be at the margins. They also probably knew what it was like not to have anyone stand up for them.
So they drew Moses out of the water.
Now I’m praying that God herself will draw me out of the waters. Draw me out of the waters of racism and xenophobia, draw me out of the waters of isolation from others, draw me out of the waters that make me afraid of being accused of ‘playing a race card.’
Methodists don’t play cards. We’re too busy doing God’s work.