The other day I had an idea on something to write about but since then it has slipped my mind. So today I’ll just let my mind wander through what I’ve seen and read lately.
There is a lot of controversy about taking in refugees. I’m not against taking in refugees. To me it is being the Good Samaritan. But we also need to be Good Samaritans to our own poor. Facebook has been rife with posts of pictures with tags about not having room for refugees when we have those in need in our own country. Homeless families and veterans have been given as reasons we shouldn’t bring in refugees. I’m sure that there are other groups of needy as well. Homelessness is a fact of life for many that have fallen through the cracks in our society. A few actually choose the lifestyle, others are forced into it by circumstances, whether beyond their control or not. I’ve been very close to it myself a couple times and had I not had a loving church or the infrastructure of family to help I’d surely have been living out of a car with small children. I have always been fortunate in that. But many are not so fortunate to have that support system. I say, what are the citizens of this nation doing about it? There are organizations, churches, and non-profits that do what they can. But those organizations depend on donations from individuals to provide those services.
What are you doing to help our citizens who have fallen through the cracks? How do you help the homeless family? How do you help the homeless veteran? Those whose voice shouts that we can’t take in refugees, what are you doing to help those that you so adamantly insist must be taken care of before we can take in refugees? In spite of the economic troubles of our country we are still quite affluent. Sure there is talk of the rich having control of the vast majority of riches in the country, still even the poorest of families often find the resources for expensive electronics for their children. Our poorest live like royalty to much of the worlds population. Our poorest are subsidized by our government and still the government cannot reach all those who really need it. It is up to us as individuals to provide for the poor. In Matthew a rich young ruler questioned Jesus what he should do to attain eternal life and Jesus responded that he knew the commandments and the young man said he had obeyed them all his life. Jesus response was:
Mark 10:21 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
21 Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come,[a] follow Me.”
Are we like the ruler who turned away saddened because he had much wealth and was unwilling to part with it? I’m sure that many of the more affluent people in this country give to organizations believing they have done their part. But, there are many less affluent who are like the widow who put her last coins into the temple offering and Jesus commented that she gave more than the rich man who made his contribution because she gave out of her poverty giving all that she had. Her reward is in heaven. The paltry sum that she gave was much to her, but, that small sum cannot be enough to provide much help others in need.
I know that there have been times when I’ve given to someone when really I couldn’t afford it, but, they needed it more. There have also been times that I’ve accepted the gifts of others when I was in need, and honestly, those acts of kindness and compassion brought me to tears every time. Even the small things, like the year someone bought winter coats for my kids. Those gifts given with compassion and kindness are precious to me and when I have the opportunity I do the same for others. We should all be of that mind and our poor would be taken care of. But, Jesus did tell us that the poor would be with us always. That statement is taken out of context, but is true. It is our duty, not the duty of our government, to take care of the poor. We are failing as a society to do our job.
We are an affluent nation and there is enough to provide for our needy and for refugees. When we take in others, and that is the legacy of our nation, we add to the potential productive residents, increase the amount of demand that grows an economy because they all need a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, etc… how is that harmful to our nation? Sure there is some risk of bringing in some who would be terrorists, but, is the vetting process for immigrants that ineffective? Then it should be fortified, but, don’t turn away those who are fleeing to protect the lives their families. The majority of us have no concept of what it is like for those who live in the war-torn nations of the world. Yes there have been some acts of terrorism that caused much death and destruction right here within our borders, but, as tragic as they were, those were isolated incidents. We don’t live in a nation that is constantly, without reprieve, under threat of death and destruction both large scale and small. The closest we come are neighborhoods in which gangs war among themselves and cause collateral damage to ordinary citizens. Those residents may live in a similar environment, though I think it not as intense as in the nations from which refugees are pouring. Still, gang activity like that does not permeate the entirety of all communities in the the nation like it does in those countries from which we accept refugees.
I urge you to think about what you can do to help those less fortunate than yourself. I urge you to consider the benefits that outweigh the risks of taking in refugees. We could absorb a lot more people into this country than we do. There is room. Be the Good Samaritan, love your neighbor as yourself, be generous, be kind and compassionate, seek the Kingdom of Heaven.
Just a few links, there are so many more that you can research for yourself.
The Good Samaritan by William Small http://www.fineart-china.com/upload1/file-admin/images/new3/William%20Small-452585.jpg