My heart has been broken into a million pieces these past couple of days. My favorite high school teacher has passed away and Paris has lost loved ones along with Beirut. Now I cannot get on the internet without reading hateful words about either Syrian refugees or Muslims.
But what does Jesus say?
This past summer, God blessed me with the chance of going to the Middle East. This past summer I met girls with the biggest hearts and the most compassion towards other human beings, no matter their religion. This past summer I made friendships with Muslims that I will forever cherish.
While in the Middle East my heart broke when I heard these words that came from my new friend, “I am not a terrorist. I want peace and I want to be your friend.” I had just met Sarah and one of the first things out of her mouth was, “I am not a terrorist.” I was overcome with emotions in that very moment and I knew this would be the start of a beautiful friendship. Not because I wasn’t afraid that she was a terrorist, but because I felt her pain of introducing herself this way every time she met an American. This would be a new start for Sarah. This would be the moment a white Christian and a Muslim would become friends without any judgement but with genuine compassion towards one another.
Sarah later explained to me that every time she met a new friend she would have to explain that she wasn’t a terrorist because she had known what all social media was saying about Muslims and wanted to clear up any misconceptions. Just like Sarah, I do not want to be define by a radical group. Imagine if every time I met a new friend I had to start out by saying, “I am not a part of the KKK.”
Just because you are white and Christian does not make you part of the KKK. Just because you are Middle Eastern and Muslim it does not make you a terrorist.
If these statements are true, then why do we fear helping these people in need? We shouldn’t shut out the broken, lost and those in despair. Instead we should embrace this chance of letting them into a new place that can show them love and compassion, just like how Christ has shown us.
Within the past 4 years, almost 11 million have fled Syria looking for a safe haven to raise a family, etc. These are the people who need to be shown love and compassion. These people want to be wanted.
So what does Jesus say?
Matthew 22:37-39 “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. “And a second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Now I know this sounds easier said than done, but imagine what it would look like if we could. It would be just how God had intended it to be. Jesus wouldn’t have said these words if they weren’t important and needed to be put into practice everyday, (that’s why it’s in red).
1 John 3:16 “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
1 John 4:11, 18-21 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:18-21 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
Love one another just like Jesus has loved us. No matter the religion or where they are from. Invite them in and show them that they are cared for. And who knows, maybe the Lord will provide a way for you to share the love He has for them in hopes of salvation.
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn
Grace & Blessings,