Bridges, Borders, and Transformational Change
BY JESSICA MAYO | March 22, 2018
“Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” John 8:58
My son loves roller coasters. He draws dozens of them every week. But he was indignant when I complimented his most recent design. “That is not a roller coaster! It’s a bridge! You know, mom—build bridges, not walls.” As an immigration attorney, this felt like a huge parenting win, even if I had mistaken his beautiful bridge for a roller coaster.
In John’s Gospel we hear that God is. God always is. God is outside of time, existing both then and now. And God is everywhere, both here and there.
Let’s stretch ourselves further. With God, there is no “then” and “now.” No “here” and there.” God created a world without borders. Humans are the ones that draw squiggly lines across the map and then imbue those scribbles with manifest destiny, border walls, and legal ramifications.
Our connectedness extends to our causes. Racism and injustice pervade our institutions. If we want to create transformational change, we must see the parallels between Black Lives Matter and the Sanctuary movement (protecting immigrants from deportation). We must see the importance of the issue of gun violence not just for high schools, but also for communities of color. And when our institutions seek to triangulate the issues—making one a political priority, or praising some activists and condemning others—we must recognize that this hampers all of our efforts for justice.
God is—now and every time, here and everywhere. God invites us to open ourselves in the same way, to recognize our common bonds and the threads that weave through all of our lives.
[This reflection was originially published as part of ISN’s 2018 Lenten Series: Break Forth.]
Jessica lives in St. Louis with her husband and two children. She is a Co-Director and Attorney at the Migrant and Immigrant Community Action (MICA) Project, which provides representation in immigration cases, community outreach, and case management.
Humans are weak, fragile and mortal. They spend much energy and resources to build walls and fences during their brief journey on God’s Holy Ground.