By The Grace of God – Imagine Yourself in a Refugee’s Shoes Fleeing for your Life

I try to stay out of the political fray; but sometimes you have to say what you have to say.

My connection with God is one that connects me with fellow human beings.  This is not subject to the color of their skin, their religion or where they happen to be born. In our travels throughout the world we have found if you spend time and learn about each other, we all have more in common than we are different.

So, what would you do?  If there was no government or law enforcement to protect you and your family?  If there are bombs dropping out of the sky into your neighborhood?  You find family and friends are injured or dead.  Or if there are armed militants roaming the streets?  Or if food was not available?  Or there are threats to kidnap your son or your daughter?  What would you do? What if this was happening to your family?

You might try staying for a while because this is home.  But when everything around you has failed so you make that decision to flee.  You gather what you can carry, grab family members if any and you run for safety.  Just imagine giving up everything, your home, your business, just so you can stay alive.

According to Dictionary.com a refugee is defined as a person who flees for refuge or safety in a time of political upheaval, war, famine, or other atrocities.  Even more specific, Refugees are people who are outside the country of their nationality “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted” (1951 Refugee Convention). Internally displaced persons (IDPs) have fled their homes but have not crossed an international frontier.

The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people around the world has topped 65 million, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2015 Three countries — Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia — accounted for more than half of the refugees with conflicts in Sudan and Yemen now adding to this list. What is hard to imagine is more than half of the world’s refugees are children.  Many of these children are orphans and have no one.

By the Grace of God (and geography) it is not you or me.

I struggle with these numbers, and I am looking for a way I can make a difference.  For those of faith, that look for direction by looking at the scripture from the Bible:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:25-36)

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

I know of people who are trying to help a family of Syrian refugees get on their feet.  These people lost everything.  They just want to connect and engage these people This help is undercover because this is not politically correct with people who don’t understand, or are on the fringe. Is this crazy or what?   These are human beings.

So, what do you do? First you stand up and become a voice.  I find great inspiration from these Martin Luther King Quotes

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Be loud with your beliefs and take action.  If you belong to a church or civic organization, lead a drive to sponsor a family, even if it is from afar.  Donate to legitimate charities such as Doctors Without Borders.  Be an activist for this cause.  You can do this!

In closing,

These lyrics from a Paul McCartney song titled “Let Em In” resonate with me.

Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Do me a favor
Open the door and let ’em in

My door is open. Is yours?

So, I urge you to grab a friend, or family member, or go solo.  Get outside and take a walk.  Talk or think about; what can you do to help these people in our world? How can you be a voice for them?  We can make a difference.   Are you in?

Gregg Patterson

Gregg.patterson@yahoo.com

©February 2017

shutterstock_314926154

Advertisements

One thought on “By The Grace of God – Imagine Yourself in a Refugee’s Shoes Fleeing for your Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s