[Photo courtesy of Dan Dalstra Photography]
Standing at the fence, staring at those I care about but not able to get to them was a powerful, jarring experience. No matter what I did there was a rusty fence, maybe 20 feet tall in my way. I could see them, but could not make direct eye contact. I could hear them, but couldn’t get close enough to give them a hug.
One Friday morning, a group of Christian community development practitioners from the Border/Southwest region of the United States gathered at the border fence to worship. We stood, huddled together on either side of the tall, metal fence that outlines some parts of the U.S.-Mexico border. We lifted up our voices and sang to the Prince of Peace and the Author of Love. As we prayed and sang praises, tears streamed down my face. To many, the wall is a source of pain and suffering, division and separation. To sing to united as people of God on both sides of the fence has an overcoming and restorative power. After we finished praying and singing, we formed a large circle, hands linked together, united though divided by the physical boundary of the fence. Together we all prayed the Lord’s prayer out loud.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”.
To follow Emily's journey in El Paso from beginning to present, visit her blog series "On the Border" here https://ontheborder854.wordpress.com/blog/