“I know you feel these are the worst of times. I do believe it’s true. When people lock their doors and hide inside, rumor has it it’s the end of Paradise.”
~ Styx “The Best of Times”
I hope that these times do not mark “the end of Paradise.” As a nation, as people of God, we are challenged with great need, with the task of offering refuge to persons who have no homes and no homeland. So many of you have posted eloquent and poignant words about accepting refugees into our country. There is so little left to say.
Although I may not agree with the decisions Governors have made regarding sheltering refugees, I am aware that the Governor of every state carries the weighty responsibility for the welfare of all the citizens. We should pray for them in these difficult days.
As the terrible events in Paris, Egypt and Lebanon remind us, we live in perilous times. Certainly, these times force us to a deeper understanding between the seemingly conflicting responses of security and compassion.
These are times when God’s people must be compassionate people, overflowing with mercy. Do we open our arms to Syrian refugees who are suffering in ways we cannot possibly understand?
The answer to that question may seem complex. Many people feel conflicted about what America’s response should be. I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:
Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ (NRSV)
Inscribed on The Statue of Liberty are these words written by Emma Lazarus.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
I cannot say it any better than that. May God have mercy on us all.