I’m sitting in a hotel room, looking out on a teeming, busy city in America. I’m not used to the amount of traffic, pedestrians walking on every street, bicycles or noises. It was supper time when I arrived, and I got up the courage to walk to a street with delis, but chickened out (no pun intended) after a few blocks. That’s what living in a small “burg” does for you.
There’s an embankment across the street from the motel, between the street and a wall that protects the populace from an expressway. The trees on the embankment are rather large, as if they’ve been there for several years. But underneath the trees, all along the wall, protected both by the foliage and the bricks, are tents. Small tents, pup tents, larger ones, worn ones affording very little protection, and some not so worn. It didn’t take but a second to realize these are homes–homes for those who have no home. It was one of those moments of making a memory, when you have just seen something that will stay in your mind’s eye for a long time.
Probably because the refugees in the Middle East are so uppermost in the thoughts of many people, these homeless Americans provided a strange comparison. Here they are, in the what has been until recently the wealthiest country in the world, living in a tent that will soon be snow covered. Yes, there will be food lines, shelters for the bitterest of days, but how long can they be away from their “home” without someone stealing it? Not long.
Yet how different from the refugees who are fleeing for their lives! The ones going into other countries in long lines, babies on their backs, trying to get safe before their lithrhtle girl or boy is taken for prostitution. Trying to find a bite of something that will keep death away one more day. Trying to eat something in the dirt for a bit of protein. Not because they have lived wrong, hurt anyone, or been active in criminal circle but because they call themselves Christians. We have moved back to the middle ages, when hatred and war were a way of life. We are no longer becoming more “civilized,” but are becoming more barbaric. Why are we allowing this, our hearts cry?
What can we do? For those in American, we can see that the churches or humanitarian organizations are manned with volunteers who will help feed or shelter, or give counsel, or even a second chance. But for the refugees, ah–what can we do? Very little, but there’s an old, old song, “Little is much when God is in it,” and it applies today as much as it did then. We can intercede for them in prayer, that God would put a hedge of protection around them. We can pray that the one’s under Satan’s rule would be eradicated, just as they are eradicating. Give to the many foundations that are funded by people who are not pocketing any of the money, but seeing it goes directly to the refugees. Voice of the Martyrs is one of those important organizations. Give generously.