“We have to be better than this”

Let me start by saying this: I am not a politician and I am not in a powerful position to introduce legislation and change policies. Furthermore, I did NOT start this blog to get in the political arena on current events. So if you’re here to dispute politics, you wont find a place for that here. I’ve debated for a while on whether or not to even introduce this topic here.

I am simply a young mother to two vibrant children who cares about preserving the dignity of human life. While I am not in the position to change policies and legislation, I do have the most powerful resource in the world: prayer.

Typically, I stay quiet about political relations. I inform myself, review the facts, and keep my opinions to myself. One, it’s just not my personality to be loud and boisterous on heated topics and current events. Two, I treat many patients during my workday and they all have different opinions and political views – as a general rule, politics in my operatory is a no-no. However, I had the news on in my operatory yesterday morning (so I probably walked into this one, but that’s what my patient wanted to watch) and my patient casually asked me, “what do you think about all this that’s going on at the border?” I hesitated. Maybe even froze for a moment. I’m not really sure if I sat there for like five seconds or five minutes…did she think I was carefully calculating my next words or rebooting like a mindless computer or what?

Finally I said, “as a mother, I really can’t even begin to think about how those mothers and children are feeling right now.”

The truth is, I don’t even want to imagine what they are going through and I don’t want to try to put myself in their shoes. The truth is, every time I think about it and see the image of the small child crying in fear with the marks of agony on his or her face (you know the one) while the mother is being detained by an officer, my eyes start to well up and I see my son in that image. While this experience is  n o t h i n g  like what the individuals at the border are experiencing, just think about this: Dropping my toddler off at a relatives house to run some errands sometimes shocks his little heart and he has a moment of panic; that moment quickly resolves as he realizes he’s at his Nonnie’s or Gigi’s or Lala’s house – someone who is familiar to him. Similarly, my younger son can cry and fuss but the second he hears my voice it’s as if he thinks, “oh is that you mom? okay, nevermind, I’m good.” And while this sometimes frustrates my husband who’s tried endlessly to calm him down, it proves my point. What are these children experiencing when they see no familiar faces, hear no familiar voices, and have no warm hugs and kisses to greet them. 

I can’t put myself in these parent’s shoes, I can’t imagine what they are going through because I’m privileged enough to not have to go through that.

Anyways, back to my story.

Then I realized (and subsequently said aloud without even thinking), “I don’t even think it’s a political issue, I think it’s a human life and morality issue. Is this America today? I mean, aren’t we like the greatest country in the world? Aren’t we better than this?” My patient froze. Her eyes locked in on mine and she said, “yes, we are better than this. We have to be better than this.” I forced back those tears pooling up behind my eyes and swallowed the lump that was forming in my throat (I’m gonna have to blame this one on postpartum hormones and maybe even my soft heart).

So this story probably only illustrates that I’m a big chicken and softy when it comes to my operatory and politics (and children). First, I tried to ignore this issue and push the news aside. Then, I realized I couldn’t escape the news about immigration and the images on the atrocities at the border. Finally, I resolved to just pray.

My platform is not to debate this issue (or other issues).  I can’t sit here and debate with all of the opposing views, I can’t hypothesize solutions (because this issue is far more complex than most people think it is), and I can’t change legislation and policies. But if you’re like me and can’t escape the news outlets and the images of these children, and if you get so emotionally worked up by seeing what’s going on, then you’re probably asking yourself, “what can I do?” The answer is simple: you can pray. 


Pray for these children and their parents.

Pray for these individuals who may have to enforce these policies even though they may or may not agree with them.

Pray for these legislators who are in positions to create change in policies. Pray for bipartisanship and conflict-resolution within our government.

Pray for America – we are better than this, we have to be better than this.

Finally, pray for the dignity of all human life.

Again, I’m not here to debate politics and I’m not here to introduce legislation and solutions. I’m not in that position. I’m just writing what’s on my mind and heart at this moment. Maybe my solution doesn’t work for you, and that’s fine. Maybe you’re in a position or location to get more physically involved, and that’s awesome. But while those in powerful positions work towards solutions, all I can do is pray.


Nina Pena View All →

Catholic wife and mom. This blog is my attempt to trust the Holy Spirit and write what’s on my heart.

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