To the newborn baby in the arms of your migrant mother,
We heard news of your arrival yesterday. There were no balloons or texts. There were no Facebook announcements or professional photos. We heard of news of your birth as we were seated surrounded by the sacred stones and saints in stained glass. Your advocate and future pastor, Samuel, brought us the news from the pulpit. He mentioned no baby showers, no hospital visits, no grandparents, no newborn tests.
You were born under the radar. You were born in isolation. You were born out of the violence of rape as your mother escaped the dangers of her home countries. You were born into the masses of migrants that flood the Moroccan streets, stuck on the border of Africa and Europe. You were born stuck, homeless, and unknown for there are no documents announcing your arrival.
As far as the world is concerned, you do not exist. But we, on the corner of Grinstead Drive and Cherokee Road, know you exist. We know the cries you give as you seek the basic human rights of milk, shelter, a warm embrace, and peace. We know that whether you were born under the care of fellow migrant mothers huddled in a crowded apartment or in the makeshift tents of the dessert on the border with Algeria, your life hangs in the balance. You live trapped between the meager existence in your momma’s home country, the atrocities of the migrant life, and the uncertain future.
We write you upon the day of your birth to sing to you of our love for you, our love for your mother, our love even for your father who is caught up in evil systems of oppression, violence, and power. As a child of a migrant, you are born into the fellowship of the Protestant Church of Morocco. You are born into Highland’s partnership with migrants and refugees.
You are God’s beloved child. We celebrate the gift you are of new life despite the death that haunts life for Sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco. We profess hope in a Creator whose love can never be separated from embracing its own creation.
May we be good stewards of our partnership with you. May you become lodged in our hearts where border security, international politics, and local violence cannot touch you.
Your momma has come a long way. Go easy on her. Late in the night as she cuddles you close, breathe in her tenderness and return the affection. Nestle into her arms and heal her heart. Gather strength for the road ahead as you and your momma must find “home” – a yet-to-be-found place that offers safety, stability, and survival.
As on of your future pastors, Samuel, reminded us on Sunday – though we fall down, we will always rise through Christ. Your momma will rise. May you find comfort and strength on this birthday of yours from the hope that Christ walks with you on this long journey “home.”
In grace and peace, in mystery and love,
Your sister in Christ