Nearly eight years ago, we brought home this little boy.
He was a “refugee” in a sense. He had fled his home for safety. He may not have fled the country, but to a three-year-old little boy, what’s the difference? His world was turned upside-down. He had already been in three different foster homes after being removed from his birth parents. He was in need of refuge. He was in need of a home.
Take a look into his eyes. Do you see the emptiness? This was just days after he came to live with us, when we took him for his first haircut. And this was the biggest smile we could get out of him. He was a shattered little boy.
Because of my thoughts on refugees coming into our country, I’ve been called racist, xenophobic, fearful, a bad example of Christianity, and more in recent days.
As I noted in my post on refugees, I believe the topic to be highly complicated and void of a simple answer. But the refugee crisis isn’t just occurring with those coming into our country, it’s occurring right here within our own borders. Except with this refugee crisis, there are no adults. There are no terrorist threats or security risks. There are just innocent children, broken because of the choices made by those they rely on most.
At one point, we had five kids, ages five and under. We had to close our doors to more children in order to be able to properly take care of those who were already in our home. We needed to make sure that each child we chose to welcome in was provided for. We could have kept taking foster children in, but Superman and I knew our limits, and we didn’t believe God was calling us to adopt more. We knew taking in more kids would only be a detriment to our other children. And our commitment to the kids we had wasn’t just a once-a-month donation, it was lifelong.
I believe the same applies with our nation. I would absolutely love for our country to be an oasis for every hurting person fleeing persecution, but I understand that we also need to make sure that the needs of our citizens are met as well. We cannot rescue every heart. We cannot provide for all of the hurting people in the world.
Government is barely needed when the church is active and growing and fulfilling its role by serving the “least of these.” Unfortunately, a lot of people put the government in place of religion, thinking there will be a great leader who brings hope and change. The change we need is micro, not macro. It is changing the community you live in. It’s changing your family and your friends and the strangers that you come in contact with.
This is the face of a “refugee” in our home now:
Do you see the joy? Do you see the freedom? I desperately want that for everyone. I want everyone, regardless of race or religion to experience that. But I can only open my home to so many hurting people before the weight of the burden crushes our resources and only hurts those we were trying to help.
Friends, I’m not xenophobic. I’m not anti-refugee. I don’t have a hardened heart, and I’m not blind to the needs of hurting people. But can we all please, please stop pointing fingers at each other and saying how we’re not doing enough? Can those of us who can do more right now step up and carry more of the burden? Can we give those who are fully tapped out the grace of knowing they’re still loved and supported and that we appreciate everything they are doing to “love the least of these?” Because the only way we are going to effectively change the world is by being a light and serving in the simplest forms. Each of us, in our own little ways, to the best of our abilities.