Walking in Cold


Yesterday I was complaining about not being in Florida warmth anymore. I wonder, if I hadn’t experienced it, would I have been complaining so much about the cold? Hmmm… I AM glad I appreciated it then either way – but yeah, we have expectations once we have privileges. 

I watched a CNN story of a NY Canada border crossing for immigrants as asylum seekers (video link at the bottom), I was touched by the politeness of the situation, the compassion of guards, the local community woman giving out free warm clothes and we heard “God bless” on national TV-video, and I sensed the gratefulness in the hug of the Russian man who just physically reacted in love… there is no greater expression of thank you than one that comes from the heart.

Regardless of legal circumstances, the compassion here was freely given, and I don’t think it was just because the cameras were rolling. We all have to be compassionate to others who have less. I am sure these people will get much scorn later because of an illegal status, but that did not deter a lady giving away mittens – she probably is these people’s statue of liberty in disguise. Lady Liberty off the clock after the boom of “manageable” welcomed huddled masses has been long gone. Yes, so not a legit entry method, but imagine if we had a fraction of compassion as if we watched the Sound of Music’s triumphant mountain climax of asylum seekers.

COMPASSION pours out of us, regardless of our political views of asylum seekers. If you see these faces, it’s hard to stay so cold in spirit. It is a broken world out there – it really is. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. Jesus knew it was a broken world, and if we start to look at the world in those terms then it is easier to put aside the anger and start the compassion.

When I have crossed the Canadian border, which I’ve done at least a dozen or 2 dozen times for vacation, I have always had just a little bit of nervous fear that they wouldn’t believe me – not that I was who I was- because they probably scan the license plate anyway – but because I was worried they wouldn’t believe my intentions or that I wasn’t carrying more than chocolate souvenirs. Yes, people do smuggle stuff across the border, maybe like home improvements construction supplies, people just tend to stretch the rules sometimes. People just are people. In the 50’s and 60’s, my dad’s car was stripped apart at border crossings in an attempt to find any smuggled cigarettes or anything, it was with good trade fairness intentions, hopefully, by the guards, even if it probably also was to demonstrate their authority. And no, my Dad never got in trouble, but I always will remember his stories. 

I’m not making a political statement about the process of nationalism or illegal immigration, but wanted to WITNESS to the COMPASSION of people, or least the routine-ness of it even on a very cold road. The guards were mostly not wearing hats, very adapted to the temperatures, but the immigrants wore hats and mittens, they were walking COLD on a cold road into cold Canada but had some true warmth of insulation: mittens, well-wishes and HOPE. They had real suitcases, paid real money from NYC onto a bus, then money to the taxi driver 28 miles up to the crossing, were walking a cold road but with the best plan they could muster for the future. Again, not to be political but to observe that so often the road of unknown is traversed with hope even through heartache. 

Not surprising, this crossing is getting busier, they walk into being arrested with all the implications and yet someone (who knows the brokenness of the whole situation) helps them with their bags, their paperwork, their hopes. Hmmm…   Jesus walked in to being arrested too… The scriptures state the shock of the guards, falling down. Jesus stood up to say TAKE ME. How interesting that He walked into a broken world WILLINGLY to get us eventually to One that won’t be broken anymore. How interesting that Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was greeted by a warm welcome, but in tears for the people mistook His intentions, thinking He was to make THEIR earthly kingdom restored in the immediate sense, but unaware that He came to make God’s Kingdom restored in a forever sense. How interesting that Jesus took on the known cold road in fulfilment of the scriptures. 

It’s that awareness on the journey we also must walk, we are aware only in part of the healing hope ahead… and we WILL experience this broken world along the way of the Way. We WILL sometimes be the crossing people and sometimes feel like the crossing guard, but must realize JESUS is our crossing guard who helps us with our bags AND our paperwork.

Thank you Jesus for Your Compassion of us – the immigrants you are bringing in from the cold.



John 18:1-9

When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

Here is the video:

Roxham road: Why the US northern border is experiencing record migration | CNN


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