I’m trying to make peace with my Facebook news feed. I disagree with… most of my family on political, social, and even (what I consider to be) ethical issues. Many a time, I’ve woken up, opened Facebook, and been bombarded with what I perceive as negativity and even bigotry. I declare to my husband, “Today is the day! I’m unfriending all of them.”
But I never do. You see, as a Christian, I am called to love everyone. It is my job to share Christ’s love and peace (notice I didn’t say “the message of” before “Christ’s love and peace”) with anyone and everyone who will have it. So… as long as they don’t reject me, I will continue to do my best to embrace them exactly as they are… after all, I’m sure there are days they also wake up, read my status and declare, “Today is the day! I’m unfriending her.”
I will sometimes engage my mother or sister in debate, because I know it’s something they are open to and even enjoy, but for the most part, I try to keep quiet about things that are none of my damn business. Still, I have always had a particular heart for those who seem to be the most difficult to love… so sometimes when everyone – especially when generally reasonable & kind people jump on the band wagon of hating on someone, it’s too much for me. I have to speak up.
So I saw this meme on my newsfeed this evening:
Where can I even begin describing how many ways this meme makes my heart hurt?
First, that it was posted by someone I would generally consider and affirm to be a loving, forgiving, faithful Christian woman. Of course, we are all flawed, and carry hurts in our hearts, but I just really couldn’t believe that her heart was so calloused as to truly feel this way about the refugees.
Second, is this what we want our country to be? What happened to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free”?
Why does it have to be America against the rest of the world? It’s that kind of thinking that prompted the attacks on the World Trade Center fourteen years ago, and yet we continue to not only allow to exist, but to propagate it.
These refugees are the hearts and the minds that the likes of Al Qaeda and ISIS have sought to turn against us. Let’s not be to them the monsters that extremists and terrorists have told them we are. Of all weeks, this is the one to show them that we are a country of empathy & compassion.