Fire in My Bones, by J. Lee Grady

Want to receive Fire in My Bones by email? Sign up here

I’m dreaming of a day when U.S. immigration policy reflects the values of the Bible.

Earlier this year when I was preaching in California, a woman came to the church altar and asked me for prayer. She spoke with a thick Spanish accent. Her tears had already streaked her mascara, and she was trembling. In between her sobs she told me that her husband, who is not a U.S. citizen, had been deported to Mexico—leaving her and their four children behind.

This woman is a U.S. citizen, but her husband had been standing in line for 10 years to get his papers. As is often the case with Mexicans, bureaucracy offered him no compassion. Now a family is split up. The land of the free and the home of the brave slammed its doors on a Christian brother.

Hispanics love to say Mi casa es tu casa (“My house is your house”) because togetherness and community are valued in their culture. My dream is that, some day, all Americans will learn to say that phrase—and mean it.”

This breaks my heart. I hope it breaks yours.

 I have many immigrant friends who came to the United States seeking a better life. Some, like the Russian-speaking Pentecostals I know in Philadelphia, were granted religious asylum in the 1990s because they were persecuted for their faith in their native country of Belarus. I have many Indian-born friends who were granted easy access to America’s privileges.

 But some of my friends from Central and South America have found it much harder to obtain legal status. They stand in long lines, fill out endless forms and pay hefty fees—only to be told to come back in six months and stand in another line. They face constant rejection. Some get discouraged and give up, assuming they aren’t good enough to have the American dream.

My friends from Brazil, Ecuador and Guatemala are born-again Christians who came to the United States seeking education and a higher standard of living. They are law-abiding people who have a vibrant faith in Jesus. Some believe God told them to come to the United States, in the same way He instructed Abraham to leave Ur. Fortunately, Abraham and Sarah didn’t have to produce passports or obtain driver's licenses when they settled in Canaan.

Please hear me. I am not saying we should carelessly fling open our borders to terrorists and criminals, or that we shouldn’t enforce standards. But it disturbs me when honest, good-hearted immigrants hear mean-spirited comments (especially from Christians) such as, “English only!” or “Send them all home!” And it appalls me when people from certain countries (especially those who don’t come with advanced degrees or big bank accounts) suffer blatant discrimination.

Compassion for immigrants, regardless of their skin color or accent, is at the heart of God’s moral law. Leviticus 19:34 says: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself” (NASB). Besides Abraham, the father of our faith, many of the Bible’s heroes were immigrants who left their homes to serve God in foreign lands.

  • Ruth, a Moabite, found God’s compassion in Boaz’s fields in Israel
  • Mordecai and Esther were Jews who found God’s favor in Persia
  • Cornelius was an Italian who found the gospel while living in Israel.

The Bible is full of stories of the immigrant experience, and God’s Word beckons us to open our hearts and homes to foreigners. We cannot be truly “pro-life” if we don’t love immigrants. It is the height of hypocrisy to defend unborn babies and then mistreat foreigners; it’s also shamefully two-faced for us to defend traditional marriage on one hand and then split up families on the other.

What we desperately need, besides a spiritual awakening, is a return to compassionate immigration policy that not only protects our citizens from terrorism but also offers equal opportunity to peace-loving people who are seeking a better life.

I have learned so much about family and togetherness from my immigrant friends. Hispanics love to say Mi casa es tu casa (“My house is your house”) because togetherness and community are valued in their culture. My dream is that, some day, all Americans will learn to say that phrase—and mean it.

J. LEE GRADY is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. He is the author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, 10 Lies Men Believe and The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Did you enjoy this blog? Click here to receive it by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit