Thursday, November 19, 2015

Refugees--Taking The Stranger In--Maybe

photo from United Nations Photos / flickr
I still can't get the pictures out of my mind of all those refugees fleeing Syria. Winter is coming and I wonder what is going to happen to them. Nobody seems to want them--especially after the Paris attack. Wonder if the children of Israel, once upon a time, felt the same way after they they fled their Assad and crossed the Red Sea.

I know...I know all of the arguments. We are afraid that I'm the middle of all these that shuffle along there will be terrorists, suicide bombers, people who wormed their way in just to take us down. Of course so many of our leaders--if you can call them that today--have been saying all along that we can't take any of these people in. And since Paris they footnote the fears that they have been fanning all along. These governmental officials sneer at our vetting process of letting people in. Loud, of course, they chant that these people--these people--listen to the way they say it--are Muslims, for goodness sake.

And underneath the fears they flame is the idea spoken and mostly unspoken--that all Muslims--unchristian--of course--are all out to do us in and take over our country and kill all the Christians. More than half the Governors have joined the bandwagon that reads: "Not in our State!"

I really don't know what these political folk are thinking. Are they moved at all by the children, the old people and even the young who fled their country in fear? They only took what they could carry in their hands.

This is not the first time that our country has had a shabby record with those trying to get in. It took a
long time and many, many deaths in Germany before we stepped up to help defeat Hitler and his cursed Nazism. We turned away shipload after shipload of Jews and sent them back to what almost everyone knew would be their deaths.

As we sit down next week around a table laden down with food and laughter and family and joy--let us remember that not everyone will have this privilege. As we bow our heads and say grace over the blessings and bounty of the year--will we include those 800,000 plus who have so little to be thankful for this year?

I have no answers to this problem of course. But I do know that to turn our faces away from this horrendous sea of human need would say much about the kind of people we really are.

(You might want to read Amy Butler's splendid blog piece on the problem we all face. It is worth reading. )

photo by Takver / flickr

--Roger Lovette /

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