You can’t get away from it. You turn on your television to any local or national or international news show and it’s there, glaring at you, daring you not to be moved and your heart to break. Tears have flowed from my eyes as I have watched a little body washed ashore taken back to the land he was running from, placed in the ground by a grieving father, returned to the arid land that has sucked away hope.
And there are people walking, walking, walking. Trying to walk across those imaginary lines on the land that magically changes governments and laws and hope. Fathers who tell of leaving family behind in search of the elusive hope and women with children in their arms and gathered around them who have lost hope and maybe even their men and are walking on, trying to find it themselves.
And one man among many, lined up outside a train that is eerily reminiscent of scenes from the past of Jews on trains during WW2, one man holds up a sign that reads, “Where is the world?”
They ask for the world because they have lost faith in all else- God, their government, their neighbors, each other. So they cry out to the world, asking where are we?
Dear brother, we are here. We see you, we hear you, and our hearts have broken over you. We have our own governments that have said, “Not yet” or “We can’t help” and we are pushing back and saying, “Yes, yes we can!”
We are coming. There are people rallying to take action, from petitions drafted to lists of items needed to homes being offered for you. We are coming. The common worker, the homemaker, the yogurt maker, the newsman, the artist, the writer, the preacher and Church and the world are coming.
It took a child faced down in the sand to wake us up, but we are coming.
And we are so sorry. So sorry action was not taken sooner, sorry that a child’s death has become the poster-child of your movement, sorry the Church and her people slept while this happened.
And it would be so easy to turn this into just another hashtag social cause, to turn a blind eye and feel like we did something. But hashtags don’t save lives. Hashtags like bring back our girls is not what caused rescue for hopeless girls when it was almost too late. Hashtags can spread the news but hashtags don’t create movement.
Dear God please don’t let us make this just a hashtag. Let us not turn these lives in danger, these humans who are refugees, war survivors, people crying out for help into something less. May we look into the face of those who are desperate and offer them hope, offer them life, offer them You by loving them. May we be more like the ones standing by with water, food, money, and empty beds and less like those who simply observe and talk about what we have seen.
So many ways have been created, so many avenues to help. The threat is real, the enemy to these people is real. We cannot stand idly by. Those of us who are a part of the Church have been commanded to help those in need, to give, to love. There are no pre-requisites.
We have seen and we cannot turn away.
Dear brothers and sisters. Dear sweet children. The world is coming.
God, we pray for these people, our people. We pray for their safety and for the return of hope in a world that has not turned its back. We pray for restoration of hope and trust in You. We pray for movement, for action, for Your love to envelop them. We pray for our own brokenness to see, to really see, and hear the cry. Our faith is nothing if it is not active. Give us action, each in our own capacities and abilities.
Help us help them. Let them know we are coming. Let them feel You in their midst, that they are not abandoned.
In You, we move.