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A Staggering Stewardship

We walked 5.6 miles yesterday, which really is nothing to write home about. But God used those miles to remind me of the staggering stewardship we have in Him.

The older boys and I were able to attend the 25th La Posada Sin Fronteras at Friendship Park which literally sits on the border between Mexico and the United States where both countries share the same wild, wide ocean. For years, since we moved to San Diego, I have been making a mental note to attend a La Posada celebration; however, the notion always got lost in the sauce of countless holiday celebrations.

This year, we committed to the experience, and I am so deeply thankful that we did.

La Posada is a traditional Mexican Christmas celebration that usually takes place over 9 nights leading up to Christmas, each night representing one month of Mary’s pregnancy with the Christ child. A procession proceeds from house to house, asking for a place to stay, only to be denied. But the last night, the procession is welcomed with hospitality, and a celebration ensues.

While it is a chance to celebrate, it is also a chance to lament with and for those who have no place to dwell. The big boys were dubious about the event, but they busied themselves by being typical boys on the walk from the parking lot to the beach park. They threw rocks and jumped in mud happily.

After singing familiar Christmas carols in English and our sad attempt at Spanish, the boys grew eerily quiet as readers began to read off the names of everyone who had died attempting to cross the border in the past year. The first twenty were uncomfortable, but with each new score of names, our discomfort grew. We lost count. I could see through the windows of their eyes the heaviness in their hearts as they realized how many people had lost their lives seeking a better place to dwell.

We sang/shouted songs back and forth to a contingency of people celebrating 30 long yards away on the Mexican side of the border. Then we began our walk home.

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Again, not much to write home about. A short walk through a state park.

Yet, we had the choice to take that walk. I did not have to walk with my children hundreds of times that comfortable distance in an effort to save their lives.

My husband and littlest fella stayed home, as we did not think his little five year old  self was ready to process the complexity of the celebration. I missed them like crazy for those 4 hours while we were away. But I knew that I would be able to get into the car, drive to our cozy home and find them exactly where I last left them.

Our Chinese brothers and sisters whose homes and property have been recently ransacked and who have been forcibly removed from their homes and lives do not have the same privilege.

The weight of these two realities hit me as we walked away from La Posada.

What a staggering stewardship we have in our country. I am deeply grateful for the Armed Forces and was glad to thank the Border Patrol as we passed them. I do not take lightly the freedoms that have been bought and maintained at high prices. Even more than these freedoms, I think of the eternal riches that we have been given through Christ, the undeserved privileges bestowed upon us as adopted children of the Father Almighty.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:13-15.

I pray that, as a family, we would use our freedoms to love and to serve rather than sit comfortably in our pavilion of privileges.  I am thankful for opportunities that so starkly remind me that all we have has been given us with great purpose.

Corrie ten Boom quotes a little child who defined stewardship perfectly.

“Stewardship means that life is a great ship, loaded with rich cargo to be delivered to many peoples in many places. God is the owner,  but I am the captain.”

If this is true, what staggering cargo we have been given. May God’s Spirit in us lead us to captain our ships to the  good of our neighbor and more significantly to the glory of God!

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