Yesterday I had an opportunity to spend some time sitting outside at a church that overlooks the border fence. As I was reflecting on my desire to be open to whatever God wants for me I found myself confronted by “the fence”. I could see the mountains of Mexico on the horizon. I could see the buildings of Juarez and the cars moving on the other side of the border highway. My mantra for the day was “open”. I breathed it in. Then I saw the fence. “Closed!” it said to me. The wind was blowing from the southwest, from Mexico. I breathed it in, “Open”. Then there were people in my mind and heart, friends and children of the Santo Niño project, who cannot even come to visit this church. “Closed!” said the fence. I felt the springtime sun, strong from the south. I felt it warm on my face: “Open.” This time as I watched the fence with it’s passing cars and border patrols and surveillance cameras I felt all the fear and violence and sadness piling up against that wall. “Closed!”
The violence in Mexico and immigration reform are complicated issues. It’s simpler to just build a fence. But when the heart gets involved…simple doesn’t work anymore.
What does God ask? Open or closed? Later in the day our speaker commented that God’s light can penetrate the parts of us that are broken, undefended, vulnerable. Maybe those cracks in my heart aren’t such a liability after all, if they can create a greater openness to God. Entering tonight into Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday’s Easter Vigil, the “Triduum” of liturgies that are the high point of our year, may we be open, open, open to the Love that keeps trying to break through to us. “Open!”