By ANN TURNER —
Does it seem at times as if we have fallen through the rabbit hole in “Alice in Wonderland”?
The things which we took for granted:
–protections for workers
–an end to coal
–respect for women’s bodies
–protections for the LGBTQ community
–welcoming immigrants & refugees
all are, in a sudden swipe of a pen, disappearing.
The face that America once turned towards the world — the statue of liberty with her torch held high — has turned inwards, away from others.
Often our readings from both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament speak of the need to welcome the stranger. As Deuteronomy tells us, “You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deut.10;19)
I believe this is a call we must put into action in our own lives, our own spheres of influence to counteract the inward turning of our Lady of Liberty.
Or — as my husband observed recently when sipping coffee at Micky D’s — here is a place where the strange, the different, the immigrant, the foreigner, the person with belongings in bundles and a shabby coat — all are welcome to sit, get warm, and drink coffee. As long as they don’t act out in too strange a fashion.
We can do the same. We can take our lead from Micky D’s and make eye contact with people when we give alms; speak to people sitting on the street; interact and witness to the inherent dignity and worth of each individual.
Thank you, Micky D’s, for reminding us of what the Bible calls us to do.
Ann Turner is a writer and a member of Haydenville Congregational Church. She offered this message during Sunday services April 2, 2017.