“But I will sing of Your strength and will joyfully proclaim Your faithful love in the morning. For You have been a stronghold for me, a refuge in my day of trouble.” Psalm 59:16
“Dear friend, you are acting faithfully in whatever you do for the brothers and sisters, especially when they are strangers.” 3 John 5
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:34-40
I shared the verses above because they come to mind most every time I hear a certain political ad on the radio as I drive into work in the morning. The part of the ad that always takes me to these verses in scripture is the part where the politician will list all the differences between him and his opponent. He plans on banning sanctuary cities…she is in favor of sanctuary cities.
Let me stop right here and say I’m not desiring this to be a political post. I know folks across our country have very different views on how to handle the illegal immigration issue in our country. What I did want to share was my heart’s knee jerk reaction every time I hear the words “sanctuary city”…and I have heard those two words quite a bit lately. When those two words stand alone…my heart goes some place beautiful.
I think of a place of refuge for a person going through hard times. I think of how Jesus is my hiding place. I think of running to The Rock that is higher than me. I think of resting in the shadow of His wings. I think of a place of safety. I think of a haven from the storm all around me. I think of the phrase “Harbor of Hospitality”, the slogan for the North Carolina town I lived in for 12 years.
It’s just strange how those two words have become so polarizing in our country. I know that in today’s political climate those words don’t represent sunshine and flowers…they are wrapped up in messy and complicated and heated arguments. And yet, when I look at those two words… alone…they bring my heart comfort and joy. They take me back to a humbling time in my own life when I needed rescuing and was desperate for a safe place to rest my head. They take me back to the Harbor of Hospitality. I was taken in by strangers. I found a home, a place where I belonged and a place where I flourished.