On Being Homeward Bound: Part 3
Monday, Dec. 18, 2006, will be International Migrant Day - a day to remember and act on behalf of all who have journeyed from their home nations seeking a decent living for their families, seeking education and opportunity for the children, seeking an end to oppression and impoverishment. Dec. 18 will be a day to notice and appreciate migrant workers in our midst: to be thankful for those who pick and prepare our food, those who care for our children, those who bring talents and life-giving traditions from their countries to ours.
In preparation for International Migrant Day, Women's Division executive Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D., has prepared a series of meditations entitled, "On Being Homeward Bound." You are encouraged to read one each day from Monday, Dec. 11 through Saturday, Dec. 16. Throughout the week, begin to think how you will mark International Migrant Day. Sunday, Dec. 17, review all the meditations, reading them as a whole. Offer your plan to God in prayer. Monday, Dec. 18, act.
An Interior Aside
by GLORY E. DHARMARAJ, Ph.D.*
Speak out for those who cannot speak,
for the rights of all the destitute.
Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
• Proverbs 31:8-9
Matthew Arnold, a 19th century English poet, captures a metaphorical landscape without faith, a road full of dead ends, a brutal night with no dawn in sight in his 1867 poem, "Dover Beach":
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And the naked shingles of the world.
Within the poem, there is an interior aside of the speaker of the poem to his sweetheart:
"Ah love, let us be true to one another."
It is a private solution to a culture in crisis. It is a private solution for those caught up in a landscape characterized by dead ends and fruitless pursuits, in a world that squeezes people into molds.
Others have suggested other solutions:
• Running to catch up with a child,
• Walking around a lawn with a close friend,
• Abandoning yourself to the ageless beauty of nature,
• Sipping a cup of coffee ith a beloved one across the kitchen table.
Kathleen Norris affirms there is "power in the quotidian" in her book, The Quotidian Mysteries. As the hugeness of life and the grandeur of nature dole out great and small mysteries to us, we journey with many others.
The other is often the economically vulnerable, the cultural outsider, the religiously different, the disabled, the refugee, the migrant. We are called to include the other in our journey. During this holiday season, let us lift up others who are migrants in our nation, who have come seeking a more abundant life. Let us make the migrants' voices heard.
Let us pray:
Our God, who calls us beyond private solutions to a culture in crisis, help us to journey with those who are different, with those we label as others. In this Advent season, make us especially open to journeying with the migrants among us. Amen.