This week we’ve seen some of the best and worst of humanity. We saw evil itself murder innocent people in Paris, and then we saw the world rush to its aid. We watched people blow themselves up in Beirut, and in the midst of the terror and chaos, watched as the helpers arrived on the scene. Just like Mr. Rogers said, whenever bad things happen, look for the helpers. There are always people helping.
Kids, about a month ago, I saw pictures of kids your age washed up on a beach because their families so badly wanted a better life for them: peace not war, safety not terror, hope not despair. It’s what your dad and I want for you, too, and if we didn’t already have it in spades in this country, we’d probably go to the water for it, too. You don’t get in a boat unless the land behind you is more terrifying.
After the release of those pictures and as the plight of these families (finally) registered in the public consciousness, a small town in Iceland began volunteering their homes to these families–called refugees because they’re seeking refuge. And it brought tears to my eyes: these people acting not out of fear but compassion.
And then today, kids, I read article after article of US state governors declaring they will not welcome the refugee families. They are afraid of what could happen, of who might arrive, of what they believe, of how they might affect the people already living here.
My precious babies, it was the ugliest response I have ever witnessed. It is not how Jesus would respond, and it is not who Jesus was: our Jesus was also born a refugee.
This hateful, unloving, unwelcoming, fearful response is not how I want you to life your lives. We are teaching you to love without limits, to lean not on your own understanding, and insofar as it depends on you, to live at peace with everyone because God has not given you a spirit of fear.
As your mama, I am filled with a righteous anger. I want better for you. I want you to see Jesus followers defending and befriending the widow, the orphan, the stranger. Not for a second will I let you believe that these unwelcoming people represent our faith or our Jesus; they simply do not. Full stop.
Kids, I love you desperately and want you to inherit a world of peace. But today, our country drew its borders darker, and I am sad and angry. We have to do better for you.
May God have mercy on us all. Come, Lord Jesus.