My heart breaks. My heart breaks for the Prince’s family, for my Afghani American neighbors, for the men and women who are fleeing from major crises and rejected from entering because of an executive order. My heart breaks because in his first week, the President has made a mockery of my home country, and I cannot let this stand.
In my studies of the Bible, one thing becomes evident. God has a soft spot for the immigrants and the refugees, for the men and women who have no place to call “home.” I believe it started in Genesis when God told Adam and Eve they could no longer stay in the Garden. I believe it broke His heart to see His creation, His friends, separate themselves from Him because of a damn serpent and a choice that had consequences… of death, of exile, of shame. He didn’t want that for us.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable of the goats and sheep, when someday, he will separate humanity by their deeds. Whatever we do to the least of these, the immigrants, the orphans, the widows, the hurt, the broken, our neighbors, we do to him. We either feed and clothe them and otherwise take care of them, or we don’t. And we will be judged on that. I’m not perfect. I’ve done my fair share of ignoring, of passing by. In Exodus, God exhorts his people to make allowances for the strangers in their land, to give them food and provide for them. And here we are thousands of years later, looking at these words, and ignoring them.
1 John talks a lot about love. A lot. Beloved is used throughout the book. John got it. “Beloved, let us love one another. Love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God… Perfect love casts out fear.” But fear rules American Christianity today… and that breaks my heart. The God that we claim is love, and that love is CRAZY! It’s the kind of love that hides Jews when their lives are threatened. It’s the kind of love that is on the grounds, within miles of the front lines, making sure that the refugees are not forgotten and have food, water, shelter regardless their faith. It’s the kind of love that forgives an entire native tribe for a massacre of fathers in the Amazonian rain forest. It’s the kind of love that takes families away from their jobs, their homes, and places them in Africa to help a community with self sustainability. It is not a safe love. God is not a safe God.
Where did we go wrong? When did we start worshiping safety? When did we start placing our needs above another’s? When did we forget that our God asks us to care for others, like the refugees? When did we forget that He is not a “safe” God and that “safety” and wealth isn’t necessarily what He desires for us? This cannot stand.
May I have the courage to speak up, to stand up, to seek justice, because this past week has been difficult. May I continue to seek Him and His truth. May I always remember that no matter what, His Kingdom is my home, and He wants everyone there, because that rift that started in the Garden is closed… because He shed His blood for me, for you, and for that Syrian refugee wanting to escape. Because He is not fear, but He is Love. And may I continue to have His Love in my life.