God's in the business of transforming hearts. I keep Him pretty busy. Before I share the latest transformation, let me first make this clear. I've never been a crusader. I've never led a cause. I've never held a picket sign. I've never saved a whale, a tree, or tried to keep Washington green. I don't think it's that I don't care about these things. It's that I don't care at a level that amounts to anything useful. I care in spirit. My thoughts are with them. My heart goes out. And other such Hallmark phrases of uselessness.
God's telling me that's going to change. Not being a news-watcher, I found myself a bit behind the times this last week. I just heard about the refugee "problem" in Europe. 4 million people have left war-torn Syria in hopes of survival (half of them are children). They don't want to stay and endure the slaughter for some reason. So, they've left everything behind and set sail for a better place. What will they find upon arrival? Well, the reception has been mixed. Yes, there have been camps set up. Yes, there have been volunteers providing food. Yes, there are countries that are making a place for them (like Germany). And yes, there are countries who are closing their borders in order to keep these people out. Someone else can deal with these people. Much the same way I've always assumed someone else will save the whales, feed the poor, and clean up the oil spills. Messy stuff. Someone else's mess. It's okay. My thoughts are with them.
One of the most famous and simple things Jesus ever said was this: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." There are many other verses I could share that pertain to this issue, but let's keep it simple. Let's walk a mile in their shoes. If I were a Muslim husband and father in Syria, what would I do? Wait around to die? Stand bravely with my rifle ready to take on a few thousands madmen? Or, do I grab my loved ones and get them out of danger's way? I'm for the latter. I'm getting the next boat out of here. I can get to Europe. I think I can, anyway. It's better than sticking around here. What will I meet upon my arrival? Will they let us in? Will they help? Do my children have a future here?
Jesus' simple statement has been made elsewhere by others-BTW. But, elsewhere, it's always been in the negative. "Don't do things to people that you wouldn't want them to do to you". It's calling not for action, but in-action. Don't act. Jesus isn't passive though. He calls for action. Do something for someone. Act. Do the kind of thing you hope someone would be willing to do for you. Wouldn't you hope people would accept you as a refugee? Would you like to be cared for? Wouldn't you like to be given the opportunity to start again? I assume you would. So...here's our opportunity to do that same thing for others. For the record, if you're resistant, it's not to my idea, it's to Jesus'.
Here's a way we can act. No, the refugees aren't piling up on the beaches of Port Angeles. They are still far away. But, we can partner with those who are near to help. Churches who have hands that can reach these people. We can do better than send our happy thoughts their way. We can certainly do better than ignore it altogether! I suggest we look to partner with brothers and sisters in Christ who could use our resources to make a difference for people who've been through hell. It's what I hope others would do for me.
Here's a link to a potential way we can act. Let me know if you find others.
Dave became the Senior Pastor in April 2015 at TCC after serving as the Director of Children's and Praise Ministries for 9 years. He graduated in 2011 from A.W. Tozer Seminary with a Masters in Christian Leadership. He and his wife, Katie, live in Sequim with their 6 children, 2 dogs, 15 chickens, and 50,000 honeybees.
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