The Nations Are Walking Into My Classroom

Anna Christian Allen | May 16, 2016

When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:33–34)

Every weekday morning, at 7:25 a.m., I greet the stranger.

They come to me from the west—from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Brazil, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, Guinea, and Morocco. They come to me from the east—from Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Congo, Sudan, and Uganda. They come with no English, broken English, beautiful English. They come with cares, joys, worries, hopes. They come with mothers, grandfathers, baby sisters, cousins, and big brothers. They come from the land of milk and honey and the land of rice and beans. They come from the lands of the Grey Crowned Crane, the Blue Footed Booby, and the Water Buffalo. They come as worshipers of Buddha, Allah, many gods, no god, and the one true God. They come with broad smiles, solemn stares, and quiet cries. 

But that’s not why they come. They come because their lands are war-torn, desperate, desolate, or dead…

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