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Friday, September 11, 2015

I Would Try to Escape, Wouldn't You?

The sad but real images of little children and others who died as refugees have forced all of us with hearts to catch our collective breath.  When I see him face down in the water, I see my own child and no matter how I try to hold them back, tears come.  This is the alarm bell in my soul to look further, to not turn away and avoid, but to find a way to engage and ask, "God, what is mine to do?"

I want to bring a family to my home to help them start fresh.  I want to put my arms around a mother who is scared for the future of her family.  I want to serve meals to nourish weary bodies and speak hope into questioning hearts.  I want my children to play with those children and connect across culture and language barriers.  I want to provide a simple, lasting solution that wraps up tragedy with a story of redemption.  I want that grieving father to know his children matter because they have opened all our eyes in a way that only a child can do.

There are still children in danger and mothers, fathers...people desperate enough to risk everything for a new chance.  I know that feeling that prompts abandoning every plan I thought I had for my life and trying something entirely new.  My physical well-being was not in jeopardy and I didn't have to launch out into a boat, but I didn't always know how my needs would be met and I had to make decisions about my children that were less than ideal.  I know the grit from which are choices are made and the determination to push through obstacles for the hope of a better life.

May they find it.  May these refugees find life more abundant and provision from we who have more.  I will send shoes and blankets to cover at least a few.  I will send my own boys' shirts and shorts and pray they stay dry on the journey.  I will pray that the crisis is relieved by those whose hearts know redemption in Christ.  May His name find its way to your soul as the true Rescuer.

AND, I will look in my own community at those who are in need.  I will seek to be the hands and the feet of Christ here.  I will ask my children if there are any at school who don't have something needed. Already, my daughter said she has a friend who wears the same thing to school each day.  Maybe she needs clothing?  Maybe she just has a favorite outfit?  We don't know when we don't reach out, engage and become aware of those in our midst.  Do you see the ones others may pass over?  Open our eyes, Lord, to the ones you want us to see.  Open our hearts to what is mine to do.

Defend the weak and the fatherless;

    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 82:3-4