Life at the Nogales border is extremely sobering. I guess I could say that life is sobering wherever you are, unless you refuse to go past the surface of what is happening. In that sense there is a grace that comes with visiting there. Frankly, the situation at the border is so ugly that it is a constant reminder of the enormity of evil. It is easy to come to the conclusion the disciples came to after Christ’s death: all is lost. Evil has won. We were kidding ourselves.
The grace is that being overwhelmed drives us into Christ’s arms. We have nowhere else to go. Christ is our only recourse. When Christ asked if the disciples were going to leave Him, Peter answered: “Where are we going to go? You are the one who has words of eternal life.” In our desperation we are driven into Christ’s arms in total dependence on Him. Since it’s obvious that we can’t fix a problem of this size, there is only one way out. And that is the grace of finding ourselves helpless in the face of overwhelming odds. It’s a holy thing to recognize that we depend totally on God and on God’s grace. We are nothing without God’s help. I used to think that it might be an exaggeration to say that we depend wholly and totally on God, but it’s not. To think “I can do it on my own” is simply wrong. I can’t. We are essentially dependent beings; essentially inadequate. We need one another and that is the way we find Christ, in each other.
Having nowhere else to turn is a healthy thing. It’s a grace; it’s reality. We can thank God for it. When we are weak, then we are strong. The fact that I am weak calls for a celebration. That’s what happens when we go past the surface of what is happening.