A few days ago I pointed out that tear gassing children—or anyone really!—doesn’t accord with the Spirit or Way of Jesus. I was speaking of the fiasco that is our southern border.
Someone responded: “Quite a few of the people with kids were not the parents, and had ‘grabbed’ the kids to use as something akin to shields or leverage to try and get into this country.”
Now, I have no idea if this claim is true; but it got me thinking…
My first thought is this: let’s pretend the allegation is 100% true. Does it really make a moral difference? Should we reason: Oh, this child is with his parents…but that kid over there is a human shield—gas her?
You see, dear reader, all children—even the human shield ones—are image bearers of God and are known personally and loved dearly by Him. Their Father is effected when they are mistreated and abused. Isn’t this what Jesus teaches us? Doesn’t your heart ache when your own children are hurting?
My second thought is that those who would stoop so low as to use women and children as human shields against the USA are sorely misguided. They are disastrously overestimating the values of the USA.
The shocking and well-documented history of the USA is that it slaughters women and children indiscriminately (Native Americans, Japanese, Germans, Branch Davidians, etc.…). Women and children are paltry shields when it comes to the powers of empire.
Please understand, this is a political issue but not a partisan one.
That is, both major parties of the USA endorse the use of state-sanctioned violence against women and children whenever it suits them. Sadly, so does the overwhelming majority those who self-identify as Christian.
I don’t suppose there’s a more misused term in all of American evangelicalism than “prolife.”
As I ruminate on the perversity of human shields, Jesus comes to mind.
It seems to me that many folks view Jesus as a human shield of sorts. That is, Christ enters the world to shield us from a God who is hell-bent on destroying us for offending Him.
In these ways of thinking, Jesus hanging on the cross is the ultimate human shield against the ultimate destruction of humanity—God’s wrath.
But is this how Jesus thinks?
Jesus in words, works, and ways, perfectly reveals the Father’s heart. He shows us that God is kind, merciful, and forgiving. Jesus says He came from God because “God so loved the world.”
Isn’t this good news? We are loved by God!
God is love and Love requires no human shields. Human shields are the futile invention of dark minds, not divine.
Even so, the human shields so utterly worthless in the voracious eyes of empire are infinitely valued in the adoring gaze of God.
Heavenly Father, give us grace-healed vision to never see shields but to always see humans—to always see Christ.
I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these
My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!