With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
“The New Colossus” By Emily Lazzarus
Lent Day 9
This is the inscription found at the base of the State of Liberty. To me, it is a powerful picture of Mercy. Immigration is a complicated issue and I have no intention of engaging in any political rhetoric or debate here; I am simply moved at the sentiment conveyed in this poem and image. The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of welcoming, particularly to those who are suffering and lost. I am a volunteer and advocate for the refugee community here in New Hampshire. I work with families who have come to the United States, not because they wanted to, but because in their own country they are subject to oppression and persecution of the worst kind. When so much is made, in the media and the political scene, about illegal immigration, it is easy to forget that our country does still welcome the ‘huddled masses’ who ‘yearn to breath free’. I pray that our country continues to offer a beacon of hope for the hopeless. I pray that we would welcome our newest neighbors without fear and prejudice or judgement. I think spending some time reflecting on the above picture and poem is a good reminder for all Americans about the mercy inherent in our countries founding principles and values.
Mercy Given and Mercy Received