For the last 24 hours the refugee situation has been almost constantly on my mind and heart. I have a vivid imagination and can easily put myself in their shoes. I can also imagine and understand the fear that drives much of the attitudes that I hear about second-hand (I've been staying away from Facebook and the news because I hardly know how to handle some of America's responses).
I want to operate out of love, not fear. I would love to have a refugee family at my dinner table, resting at my home, helping them to learn English, and learning from them how to cook their amazing dishes. Today I sat in my car after dropping off my children at school and, instead of writing, I prayed. I pray every day for those misplaced and homeless by this war, but today I begged God to let me somehow do something for them--to practically show love and compassion and kindness.
|The inside of the Statue of Liberty|
In the 17th century Edmund Burke said something like:
Evil Triumphs when Good Men do Nothing
Another famous quote has been reverberating in my head these days:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25 NIV)
I know this issue isn't simple or easy, that there are reason for fear and that it is complicated. But let us do everything we can do to avoid getting to the place where we xenophobic Americans need to take down this plaque, or maybe the whole green lady, in order to accurately reflect where our heart and practices are toward those in need of refuge.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"