A prayer for child migrants
A Christian Science perspective.
One Mexican boy trudging along an isolated road in the heartland of the United States drew the attention of a passing motorist. The boy had escaped difficult conditions in his village, swum across the Rio Grande, and made his way north, sometimes clinging underneath a train boxcar.
The motorist took him home and sent him to school. He paid the boy to work on the farm so that he could save his own money. But after a few months, the youngster was homesick. His benefactor drove him to the border – a two-day journey – and wished him well. Within two months, a border detention center called. The boy’s family had stolen everything he had brought home. They’d sent him onto the streets as part of an organization dealing drugs. He’d escaped and made his way back across the border, but was apprehended in Texas on the way to his friend’s farm.
Every child has his or her own story. There is no easy answer to the choices faced by tens of thousands of children living in economically challenged countries south of the US border. A relative or friend in the US can seem an irresistible draw. Perhaps an answer will appear by gently shifting the question from the human situations to a spiritual perspective.
The spiritual perspective offered by Christian Science is that each individual lives in the spiritual kingdom created and governed by God. This kingdom is universal, and it’s right here–not as an alternative reality but as the only reality. It includes every man, woman, and child as beloved and valued, and it comes to light in each one’s experience as human thought is transformed spiritually and spiritual reality is understood. God’s kingdom is impartial. Regardless of nationality, race, or religion, each one is loved by God, because each one is in truth spiritual, the image of the one God. There is sufficient room in God’s kingdom, which is boundless and embraces each one. There is no lack of resources in God’s infinite goodness. Every individual has a purpose and is blessed with unlimited opportunities to be of service and prosper. In God’s warm embrace, each one has a loving and safe home.
This spiritual domain actually describes the mental state proclaimed by Christ Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). God’s kingdom is a spiritual state of consciousness, the consciousness of God and His harmony. This spiritual state is the kingdom of heaven, which many believe to be only a future hope. Yet Jesus insisted that God’s kingdom is at hand, here and now, and it is the only reality. Fresh hope comes from considering that people can find safety through the understanding that this kingdom is here now.
God’s will is God’s law. Father-Mother God outlines only good for His-Her children. God’s goodness is found not just in the future but right now.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and a religious icon of the 19th and early 20th centuries, lived during the time after the US Civil War when people fled economic misery, slavery, and brutality, and crossed borders to find safety and home. She urged a spiritual view of God’s government, an understanding that opens the way for human solutions. Commenting on verses from the Lord’s Prayer, Mrs. Eddy said: “Thy kingdom is come; Thou are ever-present.... Enable us to know, – as in heaven, so on earth, – God is omnipotent, supreme” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 16-17).
Perhaps today we can pray this prayer and include people around the world migrating to find safety and purpose. Enable each to know that they actually live right now in God’s kingdom. They are known to God, important to God. God does govern on earth and makes room for each one to prosper. It might take serious mental wrestling to challenge the hopelessness and fear that contradict this spiritual hope. But if we can make mental room for even a glimmer of God’s kingdom ruling on earth, we will be contributing to finding solutions.