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Seeking sanctuary: Hallowing earth

Acting in Faith  |  By Lucy Duncan, Jan 24, 2019
Lucy Border
Photo: AFSC / Naaz Modan / CAIR

This is a poem Lucy read as part of the interfaith service on Dec. 9th which prepared participants for the Dec. 10th "Love knows no borders: A moral call for migrant justice" action in San Diego.  

Standing at the border fence in Tijuana

Construction workers hide their faces while making it higher

The wall is built abutting a shrine and inches from a family’s house

Even the trees spread their branches trying to stand in the way

As they build this new wall, a deep tear in the land

The remembrance of those who paid with their lives to reach sanctuary

Is obliterated, erased by this higher wall, this sturdy lie

A steel assertion that we are separate and not connected

That the land belongs only to a few

That fear is a force stronger than love

 

I remember standing next to the separation wall outside of Bethlehem

On the 30-foot wall graffiti audaciously proclaims, “Love wins”

I walked into the church of the nativity

Saw the place Jesus, a Palestinian Jew, was born

Those walls would have kept Joseph and Mary out

Why does so much obstruct seeking home, staying home?

 

In southern Mexico thousands walked across the border bridge

An image of passage, of yearning, of possibility

Some couldn’t cross over the bridge, they swam across, holding out their hands for one another

They flee violence, they flee poverty

All they long for is to live in dignity and safety

They joined together knowing that they could keep each other safer than if they walked alone

They seek peace, they seek shelter, they seek refuge

They are just people, organized by longing

They want to change Trump’s heart

Together they assert their right to migrate, their right to live as they desire

We gather at the borderlands to support their call

We gather knowing that we are all safer together

That we are stronger together than apart

That we can help to reach the hearts of many that can help to knock down this wall

That we the people are co-creators of humanity and of justice

 

We come here to put our bodies in the way of the lie of separation

We come here to pray with our lives

We come here to knock down all the walls and armor that stand in the way of peace

We come to hallow the earth to which we all belong

We come here to touch those who seek asylum, to put our hands through the wall, to offer blessing

We come here to proclaim that it is our bodies that offer sanctuary for one another

We come here to create the sanctuary that is a refuge for us all

About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She blogs, organizes Quakers to work for justice, and has helped create AFSC's Sanctuary Everywhere stream of program work. She has been instrumental in the adaptation of Quaker social change ministry as a tool for reclaiming Spirit-guided social change work focused on companioning those most impacted by injustice. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience.

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About Friends Relations

Lucy Duncan works with other AFSC staff to foster strong relationships between AFSC and Quakers.

Lucy is AFSC’s Director of Friends Relations. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

Christina is the Friends Relations Fellow this year who works closely with Lucy. She was born and raised in London, England and has a background in copywriting. Christina currently lives in the Wissahickon section of Philadelphia.