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Sometimes a single photograph can change the world. Sometimes one photo can grab our attention, awaken our senses, and change our perspective. The recent photo of 3-year-old Aylan’s body being washed ashore on a Turkish beach and carried away by a policeman has grabbed the attention of our world. This heartbreaking photo has raised awareness about the refugee crisis in Syria and worldwide.
As followers of Christ, we see the images and cry out, “Lord, have mercy. Things are absolutely NOT the way they are supposed to be!”
Our first response might be to ask, where is God in this?
BUT WHAT IF GOD IS ASKING US, WHERE ARE YOU IN THIS?
Jesus talked of loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. Can you imagine if Aylan were your child? What does it mean to love a stranger and empathize with his or her pain even at a great distance? Do we grieve deeply over the displacement and desperation of thousands upon thousands of refugees’ lives? How can we tenderize our hearts to break as God’s does for those who suffer, knowing that He loves each of them as He loves each of us? What does love require of us?
Christ’s love compels us to care and to act, to respond to this crisis now with the urgency that all human life deserves. For this reason, Platt Park Church has partnered with the global movement #WeWelcomeRefugees. I encourage you to visit http://www.wewelcomerefugees.com to educate yourself further on what is going on in Syria and worldwide-and how the American Christian church, including us, can extend practical compassion.
Let the photographs we see and the stories we hear move us from where we are now to somewhere new, through the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance.