I know a lot of people think I am a naive woman, and maybe I am. I was born and raised in America, “The Land of the Free.” Sure, America has racism, sexism, inequality, marginalization, abuse, poverty, sickness, and pain. Americans are not immune to tragedy, loss, and fear.
Yet, we are a blessed nation. We are blessed enough to be a bit naive and a bit “too brave” and maybe even a bit cocky sometimes. Sure, this can annoy the world, but the world can only be so annoyed with us if we use our privilege to help them when they need it.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)
If you grew up in church like I did then you probably remember singing, “He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands.” I tear up a little thinking about my tiny little self doing the motions and yelling it out like I really believed it.
There is a reason Jesus told us to be “like little children.”
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3)”
So many of us are walking away from “American Christianity” because it is too inward focused. It becomes about protecting ourselves more than others. We don’t only see this when world explosions are happening; we see this in our local churches.
We see Christian “abuse scandals” and we go inward. How can we fix this? We don’t want the Christian family to look bad. What can we do to hide this? Spin this?
In a way, this is cool because it shows that Christians really do care about their “family name” and our love of grace and each other, but we forget that there is a whole big world out there, watching us and waiting for us to take responsibility and do what is good and right.
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows (Isaiah 1:17)
The world doesn’t need us to pray for them if we are unwilling to meet their most basic needs. A homeless woman doesn’t need you to pray that someone gives her a warm bed to sleep in, if you have a bed she can sleep in at your home. I know, this makes me cringe, too.
Radical “Jesus love” is risky and hard, isn’t it?
If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also (Luke 6:29)
We have to trust our gut, of course, and can’t just take anyone into our space, but we must be open with what the Spirit is saying to us about each individual person we meet who is making their need known to us.
There are seasons to take in stragglers and there are seasons not to, but don’t allow fear to dictate those seasons.
When I was a toddler, my mom met a black homeless man on the street. She had two pre-school girls at home and my dad was gone a lot in that life season. When she took the time to talk with the man, she felt his spirit and knew he was good. He needed a place to sleep, so my mom brought him home.
Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it (Hebrews 13:2)
And some people say women don’t reflect the courageous image of God!
In fact, the only extra bed we had was my sister’s extra bunk bed, so mom not only brought a strange man into our home, but she bunked him with my sister! But, mom knew in her spirit it was OK and slept in peace.
The next morning she woke up to find the black man and my sister having a “tea party.” It was OK. My sister was not only safe, she was happy and having fun with her new friend.
I am a beginner in politics as of right now, but I do understand Jesus and the Bible. I don’t know the proper ways to “vet” and “screen” refugees, but I do know my spirit says, “LET SOME IN.” I know that we cannot let them all in. I know we have to be wise. I know this is scary stuff and ISIS is no joke. I know all the “fearful,” but equally “wise,” reasons not to.
I guess I am not as naive as I once was. I guess the hardships in my own life have made my heart softer. I know what it is like to be sick in a warm bed, with good food, surrounded by people who love me. I can’t imagine what it is like to be sick, pregnant, hungry, in pain, and petrified in a refugee camp.
People are resilient and God is ultimately in control, so I choose not to fear. As Christians, let’s be smart, but let’s be FOR taking in SOME Syrian refugees. My heart says begin with the women and children. We can’t give everyone a safe place to lay their head, but we can share our homeland with some.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matthew 25:35)
For more Christian responses to current events, follow Jory Micah’s blog
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