Immigration reform begins in the heart. We are all immigrants, wanderers from star to star, looking for work.
Our real work is serving fellow wanderers, holding each others’ hands as we cross border after border, on our way to the boundless state of Love.
Exodus 22:21 says, “Do not oppress the immigrant, for you know the heart of a stranger, you yourselves were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
And in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says, “Be a wanderer.”
Confessing our original nature as wanderers, we can embrace the immigrant as the image of our own liminal nature. The word “liminal” is rooted in the Latin “līmen,” meaning “threshold.” It describes the ambiguity or disorientation at the heart of a rite of passage.
In Tibetan Buddhism, this is the “Bardo,” the state between death and rebirth. But the Bardo is also the transition to each new stage of life. We all live on the border, the Bardo, between one land and the next, the Bardo between past and future.
It takes courage to understand our fellowship with the immigrant, courage to confess that we are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
We feel both compassion and respect for the immigrant when we confess our liminality, for the homeless are the image of our own vulnerability.
Then, with all our heart, we can welcome the immigrant and say, “You are not lost, friend. You belong here, with me.”