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Saturday, November 21, 2015

On Refugees, And Current Events, And Such

Can I be honest?  I don't keep up on current events very well since having kids.  I used to be so good about reading all the headlines, and really digging into topics that interested me through all sorts of print and online sources.  

And now?  Now I'm lucky if I know what day of the week it is and if it's going to rain or not.  Jesse told me the other day that someone dropped out of the presidential race, and my honest response was that I didn't even know he was running.

So take everything I say with that grain of salt.  
But for some reason, hearing about the attack in Paris and the effects it's having on the displaced Syrian refugees really struck a chord with me.  Maybe it's because I love Paris. Maybe it's because I'm naturally bullheaded, and when the first "close the borders and let no one in" posts started showing up, I immediately wanted to fight for all the innocent people.

And there's where it gets hard.  Are there thousands of people who legitimately need refuge, a safe place to live and be fed?  Absolutely.  Are some of the refugees terrorists in disguise?  Quite possibly.  Unfortunately, sin has made this world full of evil.

So I'm torn.  As a Christian, I want to offer not only physical help to people who need it, in the form of shelter, food, clothing, basic needs, but I also want to offer them Jesus.  This is a foreign mission field landing on our doorsteps, and these people need to hear about their Savior who loves them and who died for them.

But I also fear.  Not only has sin brought evil to this world, it has brought fear and worry and anxiety.  And so as a voting member, my inclination is to side with those who want to keep me and my family safe.  To not let in anyone who might harm us.

These two arguments don't get along.  

And maybe they don't have to.  If the government decides to let the refugees come here, I can show the the love of Jesus, up close, in person.  And if the government decides, for the good of the American people, not to let any Syrians come here, I can support that decision and look for other ways to help.  

I've seen ideas thrown out, that churches could sponsor families with monetary donations to help them resettle somewhere else.  That maybe it would be better for the Syrians to resettle somewhere closer to home, if that's possible.  It would be a way to help while still keeping our distance.  I think it's a smart plan, but I don't know how much it furthers the cause of sharing Jesus.  

All this sounds great now that I've written it down.  And it's easy to say from my living room in rural Iowa, where even if refugees relocated to my country, it's highly doubtful any of them would be anywhere near me.  So maybe I'm not the best person to listen to.  

But my mind goes to Matthew 25:35-40, which my husband just preached on recently. 
"'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, 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.'  
Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 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.'"
I just feel like there has to be a better answer than accept all or accept none.

For more on this situation from people who express these things far better than I do:

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