July 17, 2014
This morning 20 teenage counselors sat huddled around 4 tables in Redeemer’s parish hall, markers and card stock in hand; each was designing a special card to be given to our Paul’s Place campers tomorrow when we bid them farewell. Gradually, the markers and card stock were set aside so hands could be free to high-five our campers as they stepped
off their yellow school bus to enjoy our second-to-last-day of camp.
The past few days here at Redeemer have been filled with busy and caring hands. Caring hands turning pages of books, as pairs of campers and counselors sit side-by-side in chapel pews to read during library time. Caring hands placing pepperonis on individually-custom-made pizzas and slicing up chicken to be mixed with mayonnaise for chicken salad. Caring hands holding whiffle balls and throwing them through the air. Caring hands wrapping multi-colored pieces of fabric around wooden clothespins to create Guatemalan worry dolls (to whom our campers can release their worries, at night). Caring hands clasped around shoulders in gestures of encouragement. Our camp theme this year is “Caring Kids”; these hands are caring hands.
These days, I cannot help but think of other hands as well. Angry hands that hold up hate-filled signs at our country’s southern border, as children from Central America – children fleeing violent hands fueled by the insanity and insatiability
of drug trading – reach out their own hands for help. Angry hands clenched in fists pumping the air as shouts of “Go home!” fill the air. Angry hands pointing fingers, jabbing and accusing and rejecting.
These hate-filled hands, these angry hands … these, too, must know what it feels like to tremble with fear … with sadness … with longing. These hate-filled hands, these angry hands … these, too, must know what it feels like to reach out to another human being for help. These hate-filled hands, these angry hands … these, too, must know what it feels like to caress the head of a son, a daughter, a niece, a nephew.
Jesus is said to have said – I imagine him, with outstretched hands -- “Let the children come to me.”
Let them, indeed.
To read two different perspectives on the ongoing crisis in Central America presently impacting our country, go to: and