Refuge and Refugees

IMG_8644Everything hurts. There is nowhere and no way to be comfortable. It’s always either too hot or too cold. Safety is always in question. How bad will this day be? What will the war bring? Collateral damage? Injury? Assault? Fear? How will my children be affected, today?

I long for refuge.

 

ref·uge
ˈrefˌyo͞oj,ˈrefˌyo͞oZH/
noun
a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.

I want the war to end. I want home to once again be home. I want to not feel the anxiety f constant vigilance. I want to stand down and rest at ease. Refuge. I want refuge.

Our war is with cancer. Cancer assaults. It injures. Cancer isolates. Hospitals and doctors offices are our temporary encampments.

I can’t help but wonder if this is a taste of what refugees all over the world must feel. They too- long for refuge. All over the world.

Here is a breakdown of 2014’s top countries of origin for refugees:

 

1. SyrianArabRepublic (3.88 million)

2. Afghanistan (2.59 million)

3. Somalia(1.11million)

Read here for a quick info-graphic for more details on the refugee crisis.yazidi-refugees-flee-iraq

Refuge. They long for refuge, just like we do. The word “Refuge” Is mentioned 98 times in the Bible. No-it’s not always about offering refuge to our allies…. read here about the context of the scriptures below Moabite refugee issue-

 

 

 

Send lambs as tribute
to the ruler of the land,
from Sela, across the desert,
to the mount of Daughter Zion.
2 Like fluttering birds
pushed from the nest,
so are the women of Moab
at the fords of the Arnon.
3 “Make up your mind,” Moab says.
“Render a decision.
Make your shadow like night—
at high noon.
Hide the fugitives,
do not betray the refugees.
4 Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you;
be their shelter from the destroyer.”
The oppressor will come to an end,
and destruction will cease;
the aggressor will vanish from the land.
5 In love a throne will be established;
in faithfulness a man will sit on it—
one from the house[a] of David—
one who in judging seeks justice
and speeds the cause of righteousness.
6 We have heard of Moab’s pride—
how great is her arrogance!—
of her conceit, her pride and her insolence;
but her boasts are empty.
7 Therefore the Moabites wail,
they wail together for Moab.

Israel was exhorted to take in their enemies. Fully aware of the risks and the situation.

The truth is- I have concerns about terrorists sneaking in with refugees coming into our country. I want protection for my family and for yours. I also long to live a life that fiercely trusts God enough to welcome refugees. Even refugees who were once enemies. Just as Israel was exhorted to do with the Moabites.

Am I calling refugees Moabites? No. Am I calling all refugees a threat? No. Do I acknowledge that there is risk involved with taking in refugees? Yes. Do i know there is expense? Yes. Do I know that there are those in need in our own country? Yes. I don’t think that let’s us off the hook of answering the holy calling of caring for the least of these- who sometimes happen to be- refugees.

Living the gospel is dangerous. Loving our enemies is potentially dangerous. Welcoming refugees is risky. Freedom is dangerous. The truth is: life is dangerous.

And the risks are worth taking.

I’ll do what I can. It will matter. It starts with prayer. Prayers for my own attitude of fear. Prayer for creativity and resources for meeting the needs of all who need refuge, at the cancer center, the children’s hospital, in my neighborhood, and the world. Yes, even Syrian refugees.

All refugees matter.

Dear Lord- I don’t have the answers to the how to’s. I believe you call us to love and care for the outcast, the needy, the lonely veteran, the homeless, the widow the orphan and yes, the refugees from where ever the seek refuge., whether their need is from near or far. Some who seek refuge we even share borders with, Lord. I believe you also call us to love our enemies. And, those we perceive as enemies…because we’re so often wrong about who actually are. Lord- give us courage and wisdom as a country and world to not ignore the needs of the many for the risk of the few. Let love win. Let courage win. Let grace- win. In Jesus name- refuge. amen.

 

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