I am so disappointed with the new official stance of this country to turn away those who have survived the unimaginable and are in the most desperate need. These people have endured a lengthy process of impossible red-tape hoop-jumping and in the end won the coveted blessing of being invited to our great country to try to start their lives over only to be rejected and turned back at the border simply because their country of origin. And let's make the sad and ironic distinction that it really isn't because of the country they were born in but because of the very people who stole their homes and lives, who tortured and killed their family and friends and whom they narrowly escaped from with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Let's be bolder than that--If this were 1945, it would be like turning away Jewish refugees because they were born or lived in Germany or Austria and that's where Hitler and his Nazis where from. Or like turning away Rwandan refugees in 1994.
However, I am not hopeless. While our government has seemed to have forgotten why and by whom this country was forged, individual citizens have not. Mayors and other local leaders are standing up for what is right by welcoming the strangers among us. Individual are working together to feed and heal the unprecedented amount of poor and misplaced peoples of the world. Individuals are working together and with governments to ensure victory over human trafficking, that women all over the world are safe and respected as equals, that animals are treated humanely, and that the poor and starving have food and water. Medical professionals give of their time and skills to ensure safe health practices are learned and shared and medical assistance given. Last week I learned of an American teenager living in Turkey with her family who has taken it upon herself to help personalize the masses of refugees to the world by listening and relaying individual stories. She is showing these people who have been driven from their homes in terror and marginalized by the world that someone cares and that they matter. What a precious gift we can give to another person. (Check out the Hagar Project onFacebook)
Our government may have chosen an office code of conduct we cannot as God’s people agree with, but we are not impotent or unable to reach out to the lost and hurting wherever we are or across the world in the love and grace of God. I don’t need the permission or approval of the government to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord—love others, help those in need, and offer his grace to the broken.