Here are the faces of some who have been directly and indirectly impacted by the challenges of navigating our country’s immigration system. These faces are my family; people I cherish.
Next week, after a 4+ year wait, our son-in-law heads into Mexico to begin what is hopefully the final leg of his journey towards a visa and green card. There are no guarantees with this process, and the wait there may stretch on for months. They don’t want to be separated, so our daughter and precious grandson are planning to stay there as long as it takes.
After the great losses of this year, this is another big challenge for me personally. The holidays are full of warm images of family gatherings. Though our reality is miles from Norman Rockwell, those images stand in contrast to where we Van Loons/Valenzuelas will be this Christmas and they bring a particular heavy sorrow to these days leading into the holiday.
Psalm 39:12-13 is a cry for help from a road-weary David. This imprecation comes at the end of a song crafted out of David’s experience of chastisement. The pilgrim words cry out for God to hear and to act, and for Him to remove the sorrow and bring wholeness and restoration in this life: “Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were. Look away from me, that I may rejoice again before I depart and am no more.”
These words are the cry of my aching heart right now.
I’d value your prayers for wholeness and restoration in our family. Of particular urgency in the next couple of weeks are our son-in-law’s hearings in Juarez. We are asking God for a miracle – a visa and green card on the spot. It can happen. God can move a mountain of paperwork in an instant.