Wednesday, November 18, 2015


So much has been written already.
So much more will undoubtably be written.
Some of it is truth and some of it is propaganda-fueled by fear, by not wanting our status quo life to be interrupted.

Yes, Paris was horrific. What happened is a tragic loss of so many lives. Did they deserve it? Absolutely NO.
And as with Paris, there was despicable events in Bagdad, Beirut, Nigeria and other places. There was the catastrophic loss of lives in the Russian Aircraft that was hit.
All these events clearly have pierced my heart.

I am at a loss. I do not understand the evil that ISIS does. I know there is much hatred to the West, and to the United States in particular. I understand that they believe we only care about ourselves and our comfort; that we are capitalists and materialistic.
I also acknowledge that I am no expert whatsoever on Islam and the Muslim religion. What I do know is that over 90% of Muslims around the world, also abhor the atrocities that these jihadists partake in.

What has bothered me in the past two days is the amount of governors across our country who now refuse to have the Syrian refugees enter their states.
Whether we admit it or not, everyone of us, every single person in the United States is here because someone in their family tree, came to this country seeking refuge. Seeking  better lives for themselves and their families. Being able to worship the God they choose freely.

Now all of a sudden, much of the Republican presidential hopefuls are saying that no Muslim refugees are welcome. Some say only Christian refugees are welcome. One candidate says that none are welcome.
Oh please don't forget where you came from. You are here because either you or someone in your family wanted the freedoms the United States offered.

I  have a friend who wrote a blog about what a follower of Christ should be like in this time of global unrest.
What Frank says here is what I truly believe Jesus would say to us that profess to put our faith in Him.

It truly breaks my heart to see fellow believers want to keep these poor, driven from their homeland people out of our country. Is this really what Jesus would want? There is NOTHING that you can tell me that would make me believe that the God who created us all, would want us to turn our backs on these refugees, who have lost everything they own, plus often family members trying to escape the regime of Azad.
What if that was you? What if that was me?
Would you turn me away because I didn't believe in the same God you believe in?

This morning in my Bible (the ESV) I read from Luke 6:
     32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful."

"But LOVE your enemies." 
That stopped me in my tracks; how do I love ISIS when in reality, I abhor what they do.
Followed by: 
"And do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return"
What is the good I believe I am to do? 
Help these refugees in any way I can. Welcome them. Help them get on their feet.
And yet remember again, that there was someone in each of our own family's, that came to this country wanting a new life, just as these people do.

"For He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil."
This is really hard for me. I admit, I am not there yet. It would be very very difficult for me to be kind if I was to meet a jihadist from ISIS who really wants nothing more to do with me, than to kill me.
This is where I need Jesus' help. Where we all need Jesus' help.
Yes it is completely incomprehensible to believe that Jesus Christ loves the people associated with ISIS. And yet, He died for them, just as much as He died for me.
He abhors the evil they have done; it crushes His heart. Yet He still loves them.

" Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful".
To be merciful is to show compassion. To show others that they matter. That their lives matter. Even when it inconveniences us. Even when it might produce fear in us. That is what ISIS wants to do to us, produce panic and fear, as evidenced by the report (and it has not been validated anywhere), that an ISIS snuck into Germany, through Greece as a refugee, to carry out the attacks in Paris.

What I would encourage each of us to do, is to read and study the words of Jesus.
He is incredibly more important than what some politician may say. His Words are always truthful. He is always loving. He is always kind and compassionate, and patient with us. He also always forgives.
O LORD GOD, may we all be more like Jesus.

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