Tag Archives: refugees

At Your Elbow

humanitarian-aid-939723__180According to World Vision, at the end of 2014 there were 38 million people in the world displaced by conflict and violence. That equals all of the people of London, New York City, and Beijing combined. It is beyond my comprehension. 90 percent of nations that are monitored find that citizens whose lives are disrupted by war and conflict remain displaced for up to a decade or more.

I was on my way to work thinking about a student who is having some difficulties in her life. Halfway down the road a car was stopped in my lane. That was when I noticed the funeral procession I was driving past. I stopped and waited respectfully for them to proceed.

And then I started wondering. How many people do I pass by who are hurting from some major conflict and I never notice because I am focused on my own struggles? How many people do I see, but not really? How many of my neighbors flounder in conflict and violence within their lives, perhaps for a decade or more, and I never take notice?

Some people’s pain is easy to see. Refugees make the news every night; their plight is openly broadcast to the world. But your child’s school teacher who is going through a divorce may never tell you. Your dentist who is struggling with the death of his wife will never mention it. The cashier at Food Lion will not tell you her lights are being turned off because her husband’s medical bills have wiped them out.

Are your eyes open to the people you meet? Or are you driving through your days with your mind only on your own problems? Stop and look up. You may be the refuge that someone is looking for.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:35-40

Pray for Satan

refugeeHe was about five years old, a sweet cherubic face and big, hazel green eyes. Bed time stories had been read and it was time for prayers.

“Thank you, God, for Mommy and Daddy and my brother. Take care of Jeffrey and Buggy. I love you. Amen.”

Then he wrapped his little boy arms around my neck and with a big, sloppy kiss asked the question that has haunted me ever since.

“Why don’t we ever pray for Satan? Are we not allowed to?”

I was stunned.

That night we prayed for Satan to give up his dirty tricks and evil ways. We asked God to show Satan that there is a better way. And I thanked God that little children can be spiritual teachers.

We often overlook children when it comes to spiritual matters. What do they know of aging parents, cheating business partners, failing marriages? They don’t have any idea of all the evil that is out there. What could they possibly teach us?

Jesus basically said that they can teach us about what is important. Gratitude. Love. Forgiveness. That is what little children teach us.

Right now little children are dying all over the world. They are dying from starvation, disease, neglect, and war. But what can you do about it?

I’ll tell you what a child has decided to do about it. Isabelle is a thirteen year old girl living in the Midwest United States. She attends public school where she is a cheerleader and an athlete. She loves gymnastics but also her brother and sister. She lives a privileged life, is cute, popular, and intelligent.

But her heart has told her that that is not life. She knows what she lives is a dream. Her heart breaks when she hears of other little girls and their siblings running for their lives because war has torn their country apart. They live lives of nightmares. Can you hear those children’s prayers?

“Dear God, help me run faster. Help me to swim. Please, God, don’t let me drown. Don’t let me be shot. Keep Mommy safe and watch over Daddy in heaven. Please find us food and a home. Please God. Amen.”

Isabelle has imagined those prayers already and is raising money along with awareness.

For $15 you can buy a shirt that will help Syrian refugees put their lives back together. With the money Isabelle raises families will be reunited, food will be on the table, and children will be able to sleep safely in their beds.

Won’t you help a child help the children? And then won’t you learn a spiritual lesson from the child? God will answer those children’s prayers if we will only respond.

In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. Isaiah 11:6 NLT