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by Dan Weber
“And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:8-10 KJV
Many of them are fellow Christian believers, a minority in their home countries, but nonetheless they are seeking religious freedom and the right to worship as they see fit. Others are Muslim, but yet their lives have been destroyed by civil war and the unmentionable horrors that go with it. It really doesn’t matter what religion they follow or which deity they pray to, for in the end they are all God’s children and should be afforded the same rights that we all take for granted.
But this conflict in the Middle East is not new. It has been happening for several years. But it wasn’t until a single image of a young boy lying lifeless on a beach went viral that the world started to notice, and suddenly an uproar went up to help those dying in their attempts to be free. As a father, my prayers suddenly went up to the families fleeing the violence, looking for a new life, but I also took time to reflect on my own family’s history. Both my father and my father-in-law survived World War II in Eastern Europe and eventually made it to the United States where they started new lives. They had to flee the countries of their birth, their families looking to escape the violence and hate inflicted on them because of their heritage. I’m proud of what they went through and how they had to sacrifice for the opportunity to work hard in a new country where they could be free, something that today we often take for granted.
Further reflection brought me to a new point of view, one of a cosmic perspective. What about all of us who are refugees on this planet, who are forced to live under the oppression of one who would destroy our freedom? How often do we take for granted the gift that truly makes us free and affords us the opportunity to eventually return to our true home? Have we become comfortable with the conditions in which we daily exist, forgetting that we are all caught in a struggle that is much bigger than anything we can examine? Do we tend to focus on our own motives and agendas, all the time forgetting to examine the bigger picture within which we exist? Do we forget that we are but a speck of paint on a painter’s canvas that envelops the whole universe?
Just as we tend to focus on our daily lives until a single image enflames our emotions and we become enraged at the wrong being done to others (and rightfully so!), we also need not to forget where we all came from, where we are headed, and Who is waiting, eager to show us our new home and the new beginning He died for.
Let’s all become involved in relieving the pain and suffering of those around us and in countries far away. Pray that God will show you how to become involved in bettering someone else’s life. Use Christ’s example of providing a new life for you as a way of showing another of His children a better future. We all are refugees on this planet, searching for a new home that has been promised to us. Let’s take this opportunity to remember our heritage and how we can share it with others, sharing with them the hope that many of us take for granted.
Let us not forget where we came from and where we are going, but also remember that as Christians we are called to help show others the way home, on this earth, and beyond.
- Dan Weber is the Communication Director for the North American Division.