The cost of calling

July 3rd, 2019

Earlier in June, a jury in an Arizona courtroom deadlocked in the decision whether to find Scott Warren guilty of transporting and harboring illegal immigrants. Scott Warren is a volunteer who works with No More Deaths, an organization located in Southwestern Arizona that seeks to offer basic humanitarian aid to migrants who have illegally crossed the border from Mexico. Part of No More Death’s objective is to leave food and bottled water in the desert for those entering our country, while also collecting the remains of those who do not survive the journey.

Border Patrol agents arrested Scott Warren after spotting him with two illegal migrants in a place known as the Barn, which serves as a headquarters for No More Deaths. Mr. Warren was accused of conspiring to provide the two men illegal protection from Border Patrol and directions that would help them avoid a border checkpoint. If convicted, Scott Warren would have faced up to 20 years in prison. Yet, after three days of deliberation, the jury could not reach a decision. When asked during the trial why he was spending his life helping strangers, Warren responded by saying: “It feels choice-less. How could you not do that when there are people dying around you? How could you not respond?”

At what cost?

Certainly, the full scope of Scott Warren’s trial cannot be summarized in this one-page article, and whether his actions deserve praise or punishment can be debated from both sides. Yet regardless of personal feelings, this story compels all people to contemplate what fears and risks prevent us from pursuing what we feel is the right thing to do. Sometimes fear of authority and potential consequences can keep us from following through on what we believe is right. Other times our inner fears of embarrassment or self-doubt persuade us to avoid taking a risk. In such moments of internal conflict, we must consider what the Bible calls us to do and remember that Jesus is our first authority.

Question of the day: What is one risk we take when making a big decision?
Focal scriptures: Galatians 2:8-13; Acts 5:27-33; Luke 10:30-33

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