What would Jesus do about immigrant children?

WWJD – What would Jesus do…

… about children, legal or undocumented?

Caveat: I am not a preacher or even a biblical scholar—but when Jesus told his disciples to “suffer the little children…” everything I’ve ever read or heard for 75 years from preachers, priests, and theologians made it clear. Jesus didn’t mean for the disciples to make the little children suffer. I’m very sure that He understood how fragile and absorbent the minds of little children are and how much they need tender, loving care from a trusted parent or someone who loves them wholeheartedly and takes care of them. He surely understood, long before any of us did, the devastating effects of adverse childhood experiences. If we could reach out and touch him today, I’ll bet he’d be as heartsick and angry as a lot of us are at the inhumane treatment of the “aliens” He taught us to welcome. He might even be angry enough to turn over a lot of desks in Washington.  (I certainly am.)  So what are adverse childhood experiences?

Our government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is administered and housed at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, knows a lot about Adverse Childhood Experiences. Perhaps they’ll share it with their Office of Refugee Resettlement and the White House. The following comes directly from their website. https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/practicing-effective-prevention/prevention-behavioral-health/adverse-childhood-experiences

ACEs Research and Behavioral Health

“Research has demonstrated a strong relationship between ACEs, substance use disorders, and behavioral problems. When children are exposed to chronic stressful events, their neurodevelopment can be disrupted. As a result, the child’s cognitive functioning or ability to cope with negative or disruptive emotions may be impaired. Over time, and often during adolescence, the child may adopt negative coping mechanisms, such as substance use or self-harm. Eventually, these unhealthy coping mechanisms can contribute to disease, disability, and social problems, as well as premature mortality.”

Adverse childhood experiences pyramid

These precious children, especially the babies and toddlers, are being damaged for a lifetime! SAMHSA knows what to do. Share what they know with their Office of Refugee Settlement, get the children back to their parents NOW and provide the services to let the healing begin.

 

 

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