These are my thoughts on multiple levels regarding Syrian Refugees coming to America. I do not intend to hurt anyone, offend anyone, or judge anyone. If you think differently from me, that’s cool. I am not trying to argue, or to make you change your opinion, or shame you or judge you…. and I am sorry if I have come across this way by any of my earlier posts. But this is what I believe:
Spiritual: I am Christian, if you did not already know that. I believe in God, in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus came into this world to teach us how to live and died for us in order to reconcile us (humanity) to God. I believe the way that Jesus lived was an example for us Christians to live by–his 2 greatest commandments was to 1) love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind and 2) love your neighbor as you would love yourself. Jesus did much for the poor, the afflicted, the broken, the needy. He lived a sacrificial life–literally. At the end of his life, all the people he loved deeply and passionately spat at him, hit him, humiliated him…killed him. He knew his fate… he knew what needed to be done. And I am sure it wasn’t easy, I am sure it was hard to accept that fate. But he didn’t reject it; he carried his cross covered in blood and was hung on it til his heart stopped beating. He died so we could live. What greater story of love, sacrifice and grace is there? I know none. And all of this was not in vain….we can’t let it be for vain. Now of course I am afraid of the potential risk inflicted on our country by letting refugees come into our country. I am not fearless. I am human. I know that in those thousands of people, there is a chance of a extreme ISIS member to be among them. Did Jesus not sense his traitor Judas among his disciples? Did Jesus not say there was a traiter among them several times? Yet was Judas “kicked” out of the 12 disciples? Did Jesus have him killed? No….he didn’t. So why, as Christians, fear this potential risk? Are our lives worth more than the potential of thousands of humans knowing Christ….to hear about God in a way they never had an opportunity before? To hear about JESUS in a way they never have before? Are our lives worth more than that of our neighbors? And quite frankly, are we so caught up in this life that we have forgotton about what lies ahead? The things we hope for, our faith, that reconciliation between heaven and earth that one day will be upon us? Have we forgotten that this life is fleeting…. that there are greater things ahead than any we leave behind? So why not take this opportunity, with much prayer for courage and love, and use it the way Jesus would.
Emotional/Realist: We are going to die one day. This fact does not escape us. Whether that is a natural death at the age of 90, a death due to cancer, a car crash, a gun shot wound, a bomb, an attack, drowning, choking, an illness….we will die someday. I personally do fear death…of how I am going to go. Of how my loved ones will go. I fear that by bringing in these refugees, my husband is going to die in an attack or my brother is going to die from terrorism. I am human and I have those fears. Those thoughts do cross my mind. But will I be consumed by these fears? No. Because honestly whether you like it or not, our end is not in our hands. How I will die is out of my control. Yes I could try and exercise to make sure I don’t die from heart disease…and that gives me some sort of faint feeling of control in my life. Yet tomorrow is not given….I am not assured I just won’t wake up tomorrow. So why let my fear of terror keep me from letting others actually LIVING IN TERROR stop them from finding refuge?
Economical: So I know there are very real economic issues of the thousands of people coming to our country. Where are they going to live? Are our taxes paying for them? How about welfare? We see them as a financial burden… and honestly yea it’s going to cost us money. Money that people say could be used for our OWN citizens our OWN PEOPLE. Duh. I get that. If you didn’t know this, I have a tremendous heart for the homeless population and would LOVE to see millions of dollars poured out for them to get housing, jobs, health care etc. But the difference I see is that “our citizens” are not in eminent danger. They do not cross oceans on rafts to possibly survive. You know things must be REALLY bad if you are willing to die to live. I do not know war and do not know what these people have been through, but I am sure it is incomparable to anything else. So yea they might cost us some money…. but I am sure that as they become productive members of our society, they will help our economy, our diversity, our skills, etc.
It’s kinda hard to differentiate the levels of my thinking, as ultimately they all connect. Obviously my strongest foundation is my belief in God and the sacrificial life of Jesus. But my intent in this is not to convert people, it’s not to abuse a vulnerable population and impose my beliefs on them. It’s living the way Jesus did on this earth, and not fearing my end in this life. Like I said, life is so short and anything can happen at any given moment. Think about Sandy Hook, VTech, robberies, etc. There is violence and terror in our lives EVERY SINGLE DAY. You may like to pretend you can control it…but you can’t. If these refugees need help, we should lead and help them. There are security measures in place…. they don’t just come in willy nilly. And fact of the matter is you cannot separate who is part of ISIS and who isn’t. It’s just not possible. Appearances are deceiving and there is no blood test to confirm “yes, they are positive for Isis.” I won’t let my very human and very real fear of death stop me from helping people in need. They need us. They need us. We can’t just turn them away. I won’t.