JUNE 2018 Good Stewards Help The Needy. NOW! Immediately before I started writing this article, I checked one of my news apps. The lead story said President Trump was ending the policy to separate children from their parents at our Southern border. Good!! I hope the new policy is still in effect as you read this and that we have figured out a way to reunite the parents and children already separated. We need to protect our borders, but I believe God would not separate children from mom and dad to get the job done. The good news is that the United States already has a God-like policy to help the needy who approach our border, a policy that helps us define who is politically “good.” It’s our “asylum” policy. America’s Asylum Policy is designed to give special treatment to those who have fled to our borders because they were being “persecuted” in their home country. It’s a Christian policy. The Asylum Policy is based on the Eighth Beatitude, which says the persecuted should be BLESSED. I am not naïve. I know that mistakes will happen when we give special treatment to the persecuted. No matter how hard we try to separate the bad from the good, bad guys will occasionally slip between the cracks. But, our Asylum Policy is the American Way. It is based on the words on the Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...” I love a sentence in the Old Testament book of Sirach. It says, “Do not keep needy eyes waiting.” That’s beautifully put. It’s God being poetic in telling us how to lead good lives, how to get to heaven. Here’s God’s secret to get to heaven in a nutshell: help the needy and do it now. Back to our borders. As I said above, I personally believe every country, to be a country, must have borders and protect them. We should do everything necessary to keep bad people, dangerous people, out of our country. But, as Christians, we have a dilemma. God not only says we must help the needy, he explicitly says we shouldn’t wait. God says help the needy as soon as we see their need. We should not keep “needy eyes” WAITING. So, Jesus says we must determine, as best we can, in the moment, who are “needy.” And, to do that, we must do what Jesus talks about in the parable of the weeds and the wheat. We must figure out how to separate the good and the bad. Our Asylum Policy IS the American Way. But, much more importantly, it is GOD’S Way. Approximately 2200 years ago, God told us through Ben Sira, a wise man who lived in Jerusalem, to “not keep needy eyes waiting.” America’s immigration policy is politically charged. Good people disagree about how it should be implemented. And, that too, is the American Way. Nonetheless, as great as the American Way is, it is trumped by God’s Way. And, Good Stewards know God’s Way says we must help the needy. Now! Jesus understands God’s way. Jesus tells us to “welcome” strangers. He does not say, “Send them home.” PAGE 2