Why the refugee ban should be a call to action, not a debate:
This is not a political post in which I defend one side of the argument and bash another. I have always tried to keep my personal political opinion off of the internet for a few reasons:
- It’s evolving. I’m young and I know that my opinions might change over the years as I enter different seasons of life. As I face different challenges. When our political climate is ever shifting, it’s difficult for me to stand behind a particular political ideology.
- It’s messy. I love Jesus first and foremost. But I have a lot of friends who don’t know Him and I never want something I say in the heat of a political debate to turn them away from Him. Because Jesus’ salvation does not rest on the basis our political ideology.
Without discussing my personal political affiliation or opinion about the ban itself, I want to share with y’all something heavy on my heart.
I want to write about these people I’ve had the honor of working with in the past. The people who keep me up at night because I can’t get their faces out of my mind. The kids whose drawings I kept because their crayon scribble encourages me that I’m not alone. And reminds me to pray fiercely for their families and their souls. We label them refugees because they’ve fled from their homes in crisis and landed on foreign soil, but they are just people. It’s easy to forget someone’s humanity when we get caught up in a label.
I worked with an organization in Charlotte for a long time as a volunteer, and I fell in love with these people. Their humility and grace in the midst of unforeseen circumstances. The kids’ restless spirits. Their determination to learn a new language. And they weren’t all Christian. A lot were Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and atheist. But they were all wonderful and I loved on their kids like they were my own.
As everyone is talking about refugees, there’s a part of me that’s happy we are finally ACKNOWLEDGING them. Because-news flash-they’ve been in America for a LONG time. But here’s the thing, we are so busy debating a ban that people are neglecting to acknowledge the ones already HERE.
If you are holding up a sign “I stand for refugees” but don’t go out in your community and help those who are already here with NOTHING then you are missing the point. There are organizations in this country who are in desperate need of resources to help the refugees already here. They need monetary support, clothing, volunteers, ESL teachers, vocational training and health care. GO AND DO. BE the church. Let your passion mobilize you into fighting this worthwhile cause–loving your neighbor.
It makes me so sick to think that people want to start an argument more than they want to help others. Because as someone who has worked with refugees, and continues to do so, I can tell you that your political ideology means nothing to the people whose children are already here and starving.
I am passionate about these beautiful people. And I hope we become a country that fully embraces diversity and multiculturalism and unity. Because I think that’s how heaven will be one day. But please make sure your intentions to stand with the refugees are genuine, not just intended to make a statement against our current President. I really hope the people holding signs love their neighbor enough to actually go to their neighbor, offer a helping hand, and see the change that needs to come from their own backyard.
I support refugees, but I also choose to respect our President. Because in the Word we are called to respect our leaders and pray for their decision making capabilities. Because my personal opinion means nothing if I’m not already out helping those who are refugees in my community. Because I don’t have all the facts, and I cannot judge a decision of which I am not a part.
If you want to help out the Charlotte refugee community (did you know we are a DESTINATION city for foreign refugees?) then please send me an email. I can get you connected and plugged in.