Day 19. Jesús El Christy

Fly to see heavens and wave for the life you had lived in
Fly and don’t look backward there’s many chances you’ve had been given
Go with the wind, drive with the sound, give up on the habits, by it you’ve been driven
Steal a second to shoot your head, remembering the last tears your dropped
Take away your cracked heart, and give away people you’ve loved
Fly away and hug angels made of lights, forget about humans you’ve hugged

Day 18. Prepare + keep watch

I can't tell you when it first occurred to me, but somewhere in the early years of adulthood I realized that I was simply incapable of treating Advent as a season of Waiting. To be clear, my inability to wait is not due to an overage of Christmas Spirit leading me to deck halls and binge on maple syrup like Buddy the Elf. It's not building excitement or anticipating cherished time with family.

Day 16. Waiting alongside

I have practiced immigration law for almost two years now. I spent my first year practicing law back on the Texas/Mexican border—in Harlingen, TX representing unaccompanied minors in immigration court. The majority of these young clients could not WAIT. They could not wait to flee the violence in their home countries. Waiting would have led to their death. So they fled. Alone, unaccompanied, and afraid. Their trips consisted of days on foot or without food and water, rationing a sandwich over five days. Or jammed into the cargo-carrying trailer of an 18-wheeler, hiding to avoid being detained and returned home, only to start the week long journey over again. 

Day 14. A noble guest

Advent generally is a time of waiting for a noble guest. However, with the coming of Jesus, advent points to a time of waiting for a man of the cross, a Palestinian Jew from the periphery of society. Paradoxically, it is interesting to me to watch the immigration debate in this country happening even in this season. Christians in their debate easily remove Jesus from the discussion.

Day 11. Bride + groom

My Syrian friend Yana* got married to Farid* just three months before she was resettled in Houston. Farid was unable to come over with her because he has not yet been approved for resettlement; they met after she had already started her application process with the United Nations, and were consequently on different timetables. Yana felt heartsick leaving Farid behind in Turkey.

Day 10. How we become family

Of my experiences with refugees, one of the most definitive was waiting in the emergency room with one of our friends. I received a text late in the morning that she headed to the ER, but we knew neither what hospital she was in nor her condition. After maybe an hour of trying to get in touch with her, we finally discovered—to our great relief—where she was. Apparently, she experienced so much pain the night before that she could not sleep. I headed to the hospital, and prayed that I would locate her quickly.