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Book Review: The God Who Sees by Karen Gonzalez (Church & Society)

by Ed White
March 17, 2022

The God Who Sees is a necessary reorientation of well known biblical narratives. In this book, Karen Gonzalez centers the stories of Abraham, Hagar, Joseph, Ruth, and Jesus on the biblical call of radical hospitality and justice. Gonzalez demonstrates that if we examine the details of these crucial individuals of our faith, we see that our holy scriptures have lifted up the displaced and downtrodden. Moreover, it is much more than that. Gonzalez shows that the Lord our God has given these immigrants elevated positions in the foundation of Christianity.

Gonzalez stresses that God has always had a clear and strong position on the topic of immigration, just like the United Methodist Church. God instructs his people to welcome the foreigner, treat them as one of their own, and not deny them what should be theirs by divine right. God’s grace and love calls us out of a scarcity mindset and into one of abundance to be shared with all, especially the foreigner.

The God Who Sees is a phenomenal place to begin this conversation in a congregation that struggles to see the value of the immigrant. Throughout the book, Gonzalez draws the reader’s attention to important details that bible readers may have missed before. She emphasizes the contextual identities of these individuals and how God includes and makes them irreplaceable in the divine plan.

The God Who Sees can challenge previously conceived notions of how Christians should interact with immigrants, stress scripture’s position on diversity and inclusion, and challenge those who are uneasy about immigration in the United States. Read The God Who Sees, and you will be reminded that migration is a part of human history, it is a part of Christian history, and it’s a part of the history of the United States.