Last time I was in Tijuana, I encountered hope traveling north toward the US Border.
My friends and I were in Tijuana to listen and experience a piece of reality from a vantage point unfamiliar to our everyday lived experience. We had just spent time in a temporary shelter-turned-community/home where immigrants from across the globe were resting in the midst of their journey or settling in to a new season of life in Tijuana. As we left this micro-village, an old van pulled up to the sidewalk out front, and the rusty door slid open.
We had heard of this caravan from my friend Jon, who was helping to guide our time in Mexico. There weren’t many details, other than that this group had been traveling for a long time from Central America. The rusty door slid open and out came women and kids and men and grandmas and babies. They were tired and hungry; they needed a bathroom and fresh diapers.
Their intention was to get to a U.S. port of entry and request asylum.
Their hope was to be seen and to be heard.
Their hope was to share their stories of violence, threats, abuse, and corruption.
Their hope was to receive some measure of grace – in the form of asylum or some reprieve from the hell they were fleeing.
It was a caravan of humans, each filled with a hope corresponding to their own unique story.
I didn’t get to hear each of their stories.
I hope they have been heard.
I hope they continue to tell their story.
I hope they have been received as a people of hope, as humans rather than headlines.
I fear they have been cast aside as threats and as strangers.
May we listen to the stories told.
May we see humans and neighbors.
May we receive the hope traveling north.