July 26th was the date that the U.S. government, our government, was under court order to return to their parents the 2551 children it had taken from their parents. The government declared itself a success. But it was not.
Currently, 757 children are still being held without their parents, held in our name by our government. Forty-six of those children are under the age of 5.
Here is my prayer for those children, for their parents, and for all of us:
FOR THE CHILDREN
Teresa of Avila, a Christian mystic, prayed, “Hover over me, O God.”
Today we pray the same: Hover over us, O God.
Hover, O God, over the 46 children under five years old whose parents have been taken from them and who do not know where their parents are.
Hover, O God, over the 711 children between the ages of 5-17 whose parents have been taken from them and who do not know where their parents are.
Hover, O God, over the parents who, without knowing English or being able to read and write, have been coerced, against their will, into signing away their children.
Hover, O God, over traumatized little children under five who do not recognize their parents when reunited with them or are in fear that their parents will disappear again.
Hover, O God, over the 463 parents, who have been deported and don’t have access to legal services that would help them to locate their children in this country.
Hover, O God, over the 12 children under five years old whose parents have been deported.
Hover, O God, over the children who will need therapy for their trauma, need to be clothed and fed, and need to be educated as they are raised by U.S. social services.
Hover, O God, over the parents and children who have been reunited in the middle of the night in unfamiliar locations and given ankle bracelets but no legal guidance.
Hover, O God, over our legislators so that they recognize that the long-term solution to this immigration problem is an economic one for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador and seek to address that root problem.
Hover, O God, over our Justice Department so that it updates antiquated criteria for humanitarian admission to our country and the antiquated definition of a refugee.
Hover, O God, over us whose hearts are breaking for these children and who are joining with others to find ways to tear down the walls of prejudice and indifference and to live out America’s promise of being a City on the Hill, a place of compassionate refuge.