Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

Compassion at the Gate



“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “mean(s).” Use it with or without the “s,” any way you’d like. Have fun!”

I like to have that up there as a reference, even if it is stream of consciousness writing that I’m doing. I want to remember that “have fun,” part because this prompt has got me thinking all serious. Maybe I’ll work the fun part in. I don’t know because we’re not supposed to plan. That’s like telling me I’m not supposed to check the stove 3 times, lock the door, and jiggle the door knob before I leave the house.

Anyway, I was thinking about the saying that the end doesn’t always justify the means. That is especially true when the means means being mean. I don’t usually get political here on this blog. In fact, I try real hard not to. But some people are just plain mean.

Moving back to my own little world, I have felt mean when setting healthy boundaries, but that comes from years of being too nice and a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict. I’ve been saying “no” more as I get older to things that feel toxic. If someone wanted to live in my house because they had no where else to go, I’d say no – unless it was a family member who I got along well with. But it’s hard when you don’t know someone how far to let them into your space.

I’m thinking of the caravan of people who are not coming to my house. They might be coming to my country. It’s a big country full of abundance. We have to have some boundaries of course. But I keep thinking, what would Jesus want us to do? What did Jesus try to teach us about feeding the poor and helping the homeless? He and his family were refugees soon after his birth.

I know we can’t accept EVERYBODY into the country. I know we have to have rules. But I don’t want us to be mean. I mean, let’s have some compassion for people who are in trouble and not assume they are all dangerous. Let’s find out.

It’s hard. Okay. I know this is weird for an introvert to say let’s be accepting of people coming in if we can do it through the channels – let’s not close the gates, when sometimes I want to close my own gate. Let’s try to figure out how to not do it mean. Let’s not lock the gate and lose the key.

I’m sending love to all the lost souls and meanie heads out there.

It’s complicated, I know.

Speaking of gates, here are some pictures I took, looking from the outside in, at the Land of Oz which opens twice a year on Beech Mountain, NC. It wasn’t open the day we went exploring.


There’s a surveillance camera on top. We waved.





A horse of a different color on the other side of the fence.

It occurs to me now that I would not relish going to Oz on one of the weekends when they open because they have LINES and CROWDS which I don’t like much. But if I was in trouble and had to get out of the country (or my granddaughter really wanted to go) I’d probably go stand in line. It would be nice to go to Oz. Is the US like Oz? I know the movie was symbolic. I think I’m getting in over my head. Gonna close that gate for today.

The Stream of Consciousness Saturday Post is brought to you by Linda G. Hill at:

Go check it out!

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

24 thoughts on “Compassion at the Gate

  1. This is a beautifully woven post…. I often think about what Jesus would do as well with regards to relationships and setting healthy boundaries . I think Jesus wants us to be happy. And kind. And not a meanie.

  2. I understand you dilemma. We have a similar problem in Spain with immigration from Africa. We want to help, but how many can we help without jeopardizing our own lifestyle? The solution can’t be for all the Africans to come to Spain, or all the South Americans to emigrate to North America. Literally there isn’t room, at least in Spain, or money, or jobs to finance their permanent stay. It’s definitely a problem which requires an international, negotiated solution, including their countries of origin.
    As a citizen, I feel overwhelmed. The problem is way beyond my scope, and yet I wish we could help…

  3. I once heard a talk about time management by a priest friend of mine, and his method consisted of two steps:

    1. Decide what’s really important.
    2. Say no to everything else.

    It might sound mean at first, but the fact is, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be any good to anyone else. It took me a long time to realize that.

  4. “I know we can’t accept EVERYBODY into the country. I know we have to have rules. But I don’t want us to be mean. I mean, let’s have some compassion for people who are in trouble and not assume they are all dangerous. Let’s find out.”
    ~ As an immigrant who followed the rules and was admitted legally to the USA, I thank you for these sentiments, JoAnna.

    Many Americans, I believe, are unaware of the forces driving the tsunami of migrants and refugees to the US and Europe. We have to address the root causes. And they are many and diverse, but they all share one thing in common: our globalized, economic, capitalist system. The system has failed humankind worldwide.

    • I’m glad you appreciate my sentiments, especially since this was stream of consciousness writing with a no editing rule which can be a little risky. The forces driving the tsunami are definitely worth investigating. Have you written a post on that?

      • No, I’ve never written a post about it.

      • JoAnna, I’ve just read the following article about the subject, and, with your permission, would like to add it to my comments.

        The US Must Take Responsibility for Asylum Seekers and the History That Drives Them
        By David L. Wilson, Truthout, Published on November 10, 2018

        The following is an excerpt:

        Meanwhile, María Luisa Rosal, an organizer for School of the Americas (SOA) Watch, was touring campuses in the Midwest and California to promote her organization’s upcoming annual November gathering at the US-Mexico border, which will bring US and Latin American activists together for rallies, panels and workshops on such topics as organizing for “the right to stay.” This is a term Mexican activists coined for people’s right not to have policies imposed on them that force them to leave their homes. SOA Watch was started in 1990 to draw attention to the role of the US Army School of the Americas military training program (renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in 2001) in producing Latin American human rights abusers. SOA Watch activists say their focus is currently on raising public awareness of “militarized US foreign policy as a principal root cause of migration.”

        • Yes, please add. It’s an interesting article. I would have responded sooner, but this comment seemed to get lost with a few other of my notifications. I just found it.

  5. One of the Wonderful post I read today !! Happy to getting touch to it daily 😉

  6. Interesting and truthful read. I did not know about Land of OZ. I will have to check it out if I get back there.

    • Thank you for your feedback. I believe they open for a weekend in the spring and again in the fall. Tickets get sold out. But you can always peek through the gate. 😉

  7. You may typically avoid politics but you’ve done an excellent job with this piece. Refugees & immigration is so much more nuanced than just “keep them out!” or “let them all in!” You’ve raised the level of discussion — thank you.

  8. Well yes, I feel for those poor people that want to come to the USA. It is a pitiful situation and they are trying to escape violence. If one wanted to get technical it would be wise to get informed about one of the reasons those folks want to get the hell out of dodge. Number one. There are so many guns in central America that the governments can not stem the tide of illegal guns that find a way to the outlaws hands, Number two,. Those guns arrive from the USA, having been smuggled in by gun runners. Number three. The NRA fuels huge amounts of money to our senators and reps so is it any wonder that the folks in congress and house do nothing? You see the NRA is supported by gun manufacturers and thus the guns just keep getting made. It is a vicious cycle. Much money is involved in guns, you can bet your bottom dollar that nothing will ever be done. I can’t blame those people for wanting a better life. It is too sad to think that actually they will likely never have a better life because they will not be getting across the border under the current admin.

    • Thank you for these insights, Yvonne. We absolutely need to consider the underlying issues and why these people are leaving their homes. It can be overwhelming to think about the shift toward peace that needs to happen to make things better. We can just do our part which seems like a drop in the bucket, but it’s what we got. I’m praying right now for peace and that I can live that peace, cause sometimes, I forget. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

  9. A lovely post, JoAnna. I read alot of Oz books as a young boy, and was intrigued to see there is this recreation, and to think back on that time. For me, this post just shifted into the heart when you talked about Jesus and the poor. Not that, as you say, that is always a good approach to setting policy–but for me the power we have as individuals begins with responding from our hearts. Then we know as individuals how to respond to this moment. Not some conceptual moment. Not to some moment that is being broadcast and dissected. But to this moment where we meet, and where we take stock of what we possess, what we can offer, and we respond truly from within. It’s interesting that the yellow brick road led ultimately not to a place, but to who we are…

    I wanted to ask you something, too… I participated in a blog challenge here and part of it involves volunteering someone else to participate. I’m not really into volunteering others, but thought it might be a topic you’d be interested in…

    With Love

    • Thank you for your thoughts and insights, Michael. This comment and a few others seemed to get “lost” and I just found it. I had seen that mission possible blog challenge and have given it some thought but it wasn’t coming together for me. It’s good that it got me to think about my mission, but it feels like my long term mission is on hold right now as I go through my parents’ house. Thank you for thinking of me. I feel like I need to pass on this for right now. Thanks for asking.

  10. because of the horse’s color, it looks like a unicorn!

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