Isaiah 58:9
the speaking of evil…

Reflections this week are by Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera

Picture crossing the desert carrying your children and all that you own.

I live in Tucson, AZ and this image is not glamorized. It is often over 110 degrees there and many people die from heat exhaustion and thirst. What causes a person to make this journey? When we can’t comprehend migration we often dismiss people’s reasons for coming. Or we do worse. We speak evil of them. We hurl words that injure. We demonize. We don’t treat others as if they were children of God. Think about the term, “illegal alien.” Would you use that label for a child of God?

When Joseph listened to angels and fled to Egypt with his wife and tiny baby was he unwise? His choice may seem dangerous and ill-advised to us; but his main focus was that his child was in danger. Do we think badly of parents who risk everything to seek asylum? In order to better understand the plight of asylum seekers, we must work to be informed about the reasons that drive them from their home countries.

Warsan Shire’s words speak to this in her poem, Home (see below).

Questions for reflection:

  • Think back on when you have made a difficult decision for the benefit of yourself or your family.
  • In what ways were the poet’s decisions similar to your own and in what ways were they different?


Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera is an illustrator living in Tucson, AZ. She works as a volunteer with an asylum advocacy group called Save Asylum and also at a migrant welcome center, Casa Alitas. Last year she created the Way of Asylum which is a devotional Stations of the Cross. In these stations Jesus’ suffering is embodied in the people seeking asylum in our country.

Home by Warsan Shire:

Warsan Shire is a British-Somali poet laureate, and the author of the renowned poem Home. Listen to Home in the poet’s own voice, and explore the full text and recommendations for teaching this poem to young people.