by Ken Sehested
Listen, O people of the Way, and take note. Your ancestors were once illegal aliens in the land of Southern Appalachia.* Boat people, all of you, undocumented immigrants. Scots-Irish trash; crackers and kaffirs, wetbacks and wops; gooks, goyim, gringos and gypsies.
Strangers we were, with no stake in the Promise; hopeless, helpless, beggarly-born.
Guest worker, day laborer, field hand, dark tan. Stay away from traffic stops—or disappear in a police van.
Strangers we were, with no stake in the Promise; stranded, branded, object of scorn.
But now in Christ Jesus your passport’s approved. The boundary of bounty has now been removed.
Strangers we were, with no stake in the Promise: profiled, profaned, with none for to mourn.
The wall of hostility, enmity, shame, lies shattered and scattered by blood-cleansing claim!
Strangers we were, but deported no more: with joy’s consecration on God’s blessed shore.
©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org
*Written for my congregation, Circle of Mercy, in the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville, NC.