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To the mother and the father of the 10-year old whose name we do not know,

the child who died in border patrol’s custody in September,
but whose death was reported just yesterday:
we remember you.

We remember you,
and the families of the six other children who have died at our border.

We remember you,
And the families of other dead children whose stories we do not know,
Whose stories we may never know.

We grieve with you.
We pray for God’s peace, for God’s justice, to be somehow made real in your life.

We pray in lament, that poverty and powerlessness led your child to our border,
and that we — the U.S. — did not offer you safety.

The we — the government that we elected, that we funded — did not treat your child with dignity and protection. Treated your child in ways that we cannot imagine our own children being treated.
We pray in lament, and in repentance.
We admit that it is our burden, this failure.
A burden which you are bearing.

To the 1,712 children
who have names, personalities, the spark of the divine
who we did not know until yesterday
had been separated from their parents by our government:
we remember you.

We remember you,
and the 3,000 other children we already knew
had endured this unthinkable trauma.

We pray that you would experience remarkable healing for the scars of this experience
the scars to your mind and your spirit, to your health and to your faith.

We pray for those who care for you now,
who are not the mothers who nursed you
or the fathers who sang to you.

We pray that you will feel beloved by someone, today.

And we pray for your parents,
who must be numb with grief.
Peace, peace to them.

To the church in the United States,
conflicted about abortion,
Devoted to debates on sexuality,
Preoccupied with shrinking membership,
with being “relevant,”
with remodeling the fellowship hall,
We pray for you.

For us.

May the Christ,
for whom the world could make no room,
Welcome us.
May the water which baptized us,
Bring us from death to life.

May it make us unafraid.


Photo by Phil Botha on Unsplash


Kate Kooyman

Kate is a minister of the Reformed Church in America who serves in the Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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