This week was a very exciting, very emotional week in the life of the parish I serve.
In late January 2016, we launched a refugee sponsorship initiative.
This week, that family arrived in Canada.
Now, I would love to say that the sponsorship journey has been a piece of cake - but I'd be lying. We've had objectors, we've had tensions, we've had disappointments; we've encountered racists and religiously biased people, and bigoted folks who don't actually want to learn the facts about what refugee sponsorship is about.
It's not been easy. But it's the right thing to do, and by the grace of God and the generosity of community, it happened.
There are still many challenges ahead, and we know that we'll fumble. But we'll do the best that we can. We want it to be right.
As we were preparing for the imminent arrival, a number of hands began the real work of setting up a new apartment or a not-yet-met family. And the refrain I heard several times from several people was "I just want it to be right." We wanted things to be perfect; to help make this huge transition as smooth as possible for our new friends. We worried about bedspreads and carpets that don't quite match, about what cookies to put in the cookie jar and what we should bring to the airport.
We just want it to be right.
I can tell you; when we first met this family, standing in the busy arrivals lounge: It was right. It was overwhelmingly right. A little girl hugged a new stuffed bear. A young boy taught us that "LEGO" is universally understood. A young mother repeated the only English she knows ("good" and "Thank you"). A father beamed at his children, knowing that they now live in safety and hope. The gratitude was tangible despite the exhaustion and reality of their new situation.
We just wanted it to be right. I think, by the grace of God, it was. For when we act in love, following the mission of God's holy scriptures, delighting in the presence of the Christ in our midst: it is right. Thanks be to God.