Long before the children were separated

He will look with favor on the prayers of the homeless;

he will not despise their plea. (Ps. 102:17)

It was the psalmist who said it (Psalm 102:17). Not the New York Times or the Washington Post. Long before the children were separated from their parents at the Mexican border.

I lie awake and groan:

I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top. (Ps. 102:7)

The loneliness is known. Expressed. Likened to a small bird alone on some else’s house-top. The plight is seen from the place above every house-top. The groans of the captive are heard on high.

The LORD looked down from his holy place on high;

from the heavens he beheld the earth;

that he might hear the groan of the captive,

and set free those condemned to die… (Ps. 102:19-20)

The voice from the holy place on high echoes among the people who had forgotten who they are. The partisan and the complacent hear the children crying in the Pit of cruelty. They remember their better selves. Because of a national outcry across party lines the separation policy that began six weeks ago comes to a sudden end with an overdue stroke of a pen.

He redeems your life from the Pit;

and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness. (Ps. 103:4)

The LORD is full of compassion and mercy,

slow to anger and of great mercy. (Ps. 103:8)

Families will no longer be separated at the Mexican border. But 2,300-plus children who have been separated from their parents remain at-large, their identities and whereabouts unknown. Their plight makes America less again.

Every day I turn to psalms for sanity.

Gordon C. Stewart, June 22, 2018

8 thoughts on “Long before the children were separated

  1. Thanks for your reminder about the psalms. I don’t have any more sanity. I feel as tho we have lost all our values and all that this country has stood for. I’m feeling this more than ever. I know you understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do, Cynthia. I have felt this way before during the Vietnam War and the beating George McGovern took in the presidential election. Also Watergate. But this is of another order altogether. This time it’s the American PEOPLE who deserve the shame. As Mueller closes in, it will get worse before it gets better. If it gets better. The question of whether we’ll “get better” is a serious one in the American entertainment culture that elected a movie actor (Reagan) and a television/real estate star. The psalms were not written by entertainers for entertainment. That’s a good reason to read them. Love to you and Tom!


      • Thanks, Gordon. Yes, I believe also that it will get worse before it gets better. I went to church today and the sermon was about fear. That’s what I had all week. The scripture was from the lectionary about Samuel and Paul. And we sang Psalm 9! So I feel a tiny bit less fear and hate toward the person whose name I don’t say.

        Another friend died of cancer this week and another one about a month ago. This just happening too often. But, maybe it is stirring up some more fear.

        There are lots of things that are going well so I’ll try to focus on them!!

        Love to you and Tina. How is Elijah?



        • Cynthia, the loss of friends and loved ones is a weekly sorrow at our age. I just heard this morning from dear friends that their adult daughter took her life after years of struggle with depression. What a sorrow! There is no greater sadness.

          Elijah is a hoot, Cynthia. So mature. So funny. Smart. Engaging. Calls me Bumpa and asks for me when Kay arrives at his apartment. He’s a blessing beyond measure.

          Be well, friend. Keep reading. Keep listening for the softer sounds.



  2. Unfortunately, the news of ‘no more separation’ was aired to get people off the administration’s backs. They hoped no one would notice that the families woul be living in detention, still in very poor circumstances until the parents can be judged — basically indefinite detention. And even to get that done without familial separation they must get a rule rescinded that makes it illegal to hold a child in detention for more than 20 days.
    This is like imprisoning someone for an unpaid parking ticket. There is a thread by Seth Abramson on Twitter that explains things well. If I can find it and figure out how to post it, I will send it.
    I wish I could stop hating these people. I think I can forgive someone who does me wrong, but I have a terrible time forgiving people who deliberately hurt other people or animals. I wonder if we are really supposed to forgive Hitler, Pol Pot, or the billionaires and decision-makers causing much of the terrible wrong that is happening now.
    (Sorry — meandering, as usual.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s