|More children, different border|
Like police brutality in the USA, too often our hearts begin to open only once graphic pictures and videos emerge. But blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. We mustn't be so hard to cajole into compassion.
And just like deaths in the USA, the we are more likely to sympathize with many lives lost suddenly, than with same numbers dying in individual trajectories. So it's only when we see a boy on a beach, or a boat of 900 capsized, that we begin to feel moved.
But late is better than never, and public sympathy has begun to turn. We are convicted. We feel someone should be doing something. As long as it is someone else.
|How welcoming is your state to refugees?|
How welcoming is your church?
Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, describes it well:
no one leaves home unlessIt is easy to question the compassion of countries thousands of miles away. It was not long ago that children streamed across the US border looking for refuge. We too turned them away. But the Lord says "I will be swift... against those who thrust aside the sojourners, and do not fear me" (Malachi 3:5).
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
(read the full poem here)
|Meantime, on the USA/Mexico border...|
We are a Church whose history is filled with refugees who have been the pillars of our faith. We remember Noah, who stuffed his family onto a crowded ship, and endured the tossing waves to to escape eminent doom. We honor Moses, who also floated on a life raft on troubled waters to reach safety as a baby boy. We worship a Christ who was also refugee child, fleeing across the Egyptian border to save His life. Indeed, we pray to a God that does not heartlessly tell us to "go away," but says instead tells us "welcome home." Will we not offer others the same?
This article is part of a Mennonerds synchro-blog on the Middle-Eastern Refugee Crisis.