To the Latin American Girl Entering Seminary: A Letter, a Poem, a Prayer

To the Latin American girl entering seminary

With her “broken” English

 

To you whose skin wasn’t meant for this coldness

That of the winter, and that of the people

 

A ella, who receives stares because her outfit is “too much” or “too little”

 

To you, mi niña, who only see yourself represented in the loving faces of janitors and cooks at the Dining Hall

 

To you whose first encounter with racism were the words of a pastor who told you,

“We are the heirs of the Reformation. Your country hasn’t even been well evangelized,”

As if your Christianity was inferior.

 

To you, who always need to prove that you can do the most basic linguistic tasks,

Because when you have an accent, people think you are dumb.

 

To you, who managed to excel in your classes even when your country was being devastated by the hurricane of nature and the hurricane of fallen human nature.

 

To you, to me, to all the Caribbean, Latin American, and Latinx girls and women who have never been told that there is a place for you in theology:

¡Bienvenida!

 

Our abuelas, madres, and tías, have cultivated with their faithfulness the spaces for us to encounter God. And there, he encounters us, in our forgotten barrios, and colonized islands. Allí, he calls us. Pero nuestro Dios is not the (g)od of whiteness nor the (g)od of Capital or the “American Dream.”

Nuestro Dios is the God of Life; he who was named by Hagar. Él es el Dios que nos ve.


 

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