Introduction

Dusty handprints left by those who climbed over a segment of the border fence near Naco, Arizona.
Dusty handprints left by those who climbed over a segment of the border fence near Naco, Arizona.

Presidents and pundits tout the U.S.-Mexico border wall as a national security tool, designed to thwart drug smugglers and terrorists. In reality, like many separation barriers around the world, our wall was also built to keep out the poor and hungry searching for a better life.

In our society, rejection of the immigrant–the other–still runs deep, whether due to fear, ignorance, racism or selfishness. All of these reasons are likely behind the recent decision to put women and young children fleeing violence in Central America behind another kind of wall–the walls of detention centers.

Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 were quite clear: “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” The dusty hand-prints in the photo to the left show that not even walls can stop those struggling to meet these most basic of needs.

Jesus urged his followers to tear down the barriers that separate us from one another and to risk everything to reach out in love to the other. What will you risk? How will you reach out to those desperate enough–and brave enough–to climb over walls?