When Jesus was born, He, Joseph, and Mary became refugees fleeing into Egypt to escape the threat of being killed. The comment has been made that neither He nor Joseph and Mary were threatening to kill anyone.
In hindsight, we can hold to this comment, now, 2000 years later, because all that history is now written. But there were people who feared this child who they knew nothing about, and considered Him a very real threat – before the history that is known to us in 2015. They didn’t know what kind of threat He would be. Many considered that he would be like all the other threats and violently seek to overthrow the government since violence was how things were accomplished back then. They knew nothing about what He was really like and what He would really do. They didn’t know what kind of person He would become in their future. Even His apostles, who walked with Him every day didn’t know. One even thought He would eventually overthrow the Romans by violent means if forced to and tried to force that to happen.
The issue isn’t just “with any of the refugees that would come into the US is there a chance they would bring death into the US,” – ignoring the truth that theirs wouldn’t compare to the violence and killing we Americans do to ourselves. Death comes from all walks of life without any help from refugees. The issue is are we going to give them a chance for life.
No one can look into the hearts of another person and tell if they are good or bad – or like reality tells us – both – like all the rest of us human beings. God alone knows all of what is in a person’s heart. Can any one of us look at a stranger standing next to us, and tell which ones are the good ones or bad ones just by looking, what choices they’ll make in their full life, what they’ll choose to contribute to the US, what their future will be?
Can we look at ourselves and know what choices we’ll make tomorrow? We tell ourselves we would never kill from hatred, but we still fear and hate. We don’t live in any circumstance close that would put us in a position to know for certain. What if we lived in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s with our fear and hate – watching our children and family members that we love, shot or gassed – murdered – right next to us? Can any of us say we would still be our calm normal selves that we are in 2015 in the US under these circumstances or would we also find a way to kill based on our hatred of what the Nazis were doing to the person we love right in front of our face?
Look how easy it is to hate and fear someone else and then justify our own fear or hate. When we hate or fear anyone, in that same moment, we have then judged them to be bad, not based on any truth we know about the real person God alone knows them to be, but based on the fear we own and the unknown of their being a stranger, and the assumptions we come up with in our minds. We are always told to fear strangers growing up. Yet, we are those strangers also, to others, that others say to fear. Do we deserve the finger pointed at us to fear, also that we say others deserve?
It is this easy to say refugees should be feared. This easy. But, could it be that we fear more that our lives would be disrupted and changed? Can we say without refugees our lives would be safe? Or without refugees, our lives would be better? or without refugees, we won’t have certain problems? We do tell ourselves this in the back of our minds, don’t we.
The question isn’t just what will they give us, but what will we give them. We fear them bringing us death, and so it becomes easy to give them something similar first, screaming our choice “No” and washing our hands of the problem. We are now walking in the shoes of those in history, which, when we see them, we say, “I would never do that if I lived 2000 years ago.” And now we have before us a wash basin which a Roman soldier brings us with the citizens screaming their choice. The next step to “end all the citizens’ problems of fear or hate” is simply to say to the soldier, “Take Him to His fate.” turn to the refugee and say “I wash my hands of you, Jesus Christ.”
It is this easy to do it again.
“We cannot build new roads to healing in our World, by just repaving the old roads of fear, prejudice or hate.” (The Rainbow Cards, ©, 2015, Jodie Senkyrik)
“We can only build the new roads to healing in our World, by using the materials of faith in God, patience with others, forgiveness, showing mercy, compassion and demonstrating the Oneness of life.” (The Rainbow Cards, ©, 2015, Jodie Senkyrik)
Thanks, Jodie. Again you have looked across history and helped us consider the “long span of time” we might consider. I must ask myself, how will I sleep better at night, after I have made such a decision.
It is curious to read the both sides of this issue: to rescue or to turn back? America is so much father away from “this Exodus,” this diaspora of Syrians. This stupid and unnecessary war brought on by an insensitive King, who sent his Army to shot the Mayor of a farming village who asked, too many times, to “please pipe water from the melting snow from the mountains,” his villagers could see in the distance. Saw on a film, created by the Peace Through Commerce Foundation in Austin, that the mayor’s villages was starving. Their cattle were dying. Assad sent his Army to murder him. Did anyone tell Assad what was going on outside the palace in the Royal City? Their war also started with a drought! A drought with the weather changes, and a drought of humanistic concern! How would I sleep bet at night?
Jodie, and your friends and followers;
Check out the Peace Through Commerce Website.
They have a very sophistictaed mission
Sending prayers for Peace Worldwide, till I win the lottery.
Holiday love, Roberta
Peace Through Commerce has a website < http://www.peacethroughcommerce.org/SearchResults.asp?Cat=239
and a Facebook
They shared the Video I mentione above about the Mayor of the farming village in Syria.
I don’t have discrimination about refugees. I do about America helping others when so many who is in our country is homeless and very poor ! Plus there are many illegal refugees here ! I find that upsetting my family came in the right way – and had had times yet did things legally. Our country is broke and we hsve so may dishonest people serving us not for our highest good so it’s a facade on tired of hearing refugees need a home out citzens need a home ! We are wealthy and selfish with our own! The refugees are def in need yet How can we turnaround and help them abd not help our own social issues of so many here! And we owe so much money it’s sickening! I am not upset with the refugees and taking about the time is Jesus ok – yet please I walk last so many homeless who are dug addicted and there are so many social issues yard it’s unfair to put more pressure on us!!!o am not discrimitory yet I see clarity ‘ we must be more capable of helping is before we again help others!
I do understand. I truly do. We get stretched to our limits sometimes. I know I do. That is why I am able to say, how right you are. Every person in the US has pain and suffering in some form in some way in their life. Every person in the US needs help in some way. Every person in the US is carrying a burden of some type. And when we see that we can, we then go ahead and help our own kind. As human beings, knowing the suffering of one human being can help us to understand the suffering of other human beings. Human beings are human beings. People are people.
As so, every person on this planet has pain, suffering and must carry some type of burden in some way even if it looks like (from other’s perspectives) that they have it easy. Every soul in existence on the planet Earth, needs help and healing in some way and form. Every single one of us needs help and healing in some way. Even those we think are blind to the plight of others, needs help and healing.
I’m reminded of the story of a priest in a monastery who was praying in his room. This particular monastery gave food and help to the poor each day at a certain time. A vision of Christ came to the priest and stayed with him throughout the length of his prayers. Shortly, it came time for him to leave his room to go help give food and help to the poor. The vision of Christ was still in front of him and he didn’t want to leave it. But, he did knowing that he had work to do. When he returned, the vision of Jesus was still in his room. This time Jesus spoke to him saying, “If you had stayed in your room instead of going to help those that needed it, I would have had to leave you.”
Our work isn’t about helping our friends and family. It is also about helping the Family of Man. If we wait until we’re doing fine, with no problems, to consider helping someone else, no one will ever be helped, because there is never a time when we have no problems to face. If we wait until we’re rich and have extra resources before we offer anything, as nice as it is to think this, how many of us find ourselves in line to become rich at any point in our life?
We are the priest trying to do the work. “The harvest is ready. The workers are few.” And sometimes the resources are slim. But, Christ fed 5000 with only a fish and loaves. If we’re going to believe that Jesus Christ is real and really did walk this Earth helping people – and believe that He is with us, still, then we can believe in His words, when He said, “With God, all things are possible.”
If we see people that need help, who among us only has a few prayers in them to pray for someone else? Like the story of the woman Christ said only gave two cents but in doing so, gave all she had, we may only have two cents to our name, but that two cents joined to the two cents of a million others, can help. Just take a look at how many people are willing to put their two cents in with regards to opinions and beliefs – especially on the Internet. If each one of us that does this put our two cents in with regard to helping anyone who needs help, what a change that would make.
Let God decide what is possible. We can find this out when we pray – ‘Father, here am I, use me,’ when we include the refugees in our prayers, and ask in our prayers “What can I do to help, Lord?”
The Family of Man has God as our Father and Mother.
I invite anyone who has a favorite organization or charity they feel deserves mentioned for others to consider helping through donations or volunteering time, to list that organization here.
Thanks, Jodie …………. Appreciate the openness of your perspective on this complex issue……. I would like to win the lottery, so I can help more folks, and give to responsible service groups. The world is getting smaller and smaller, it seems to me,in my also four score years this lifetime,: … smaller than I ever imagined. So many diasporas going on, on other continents from ours…….Many prayers needed for us to have happy holidays: prayers of gratitude and prayers of hope and faith……. and the greatest of these is “charity.”
Everyone would love to win the lottery, but until then, if all we can help with is to pray, that is a lot!! And if we want to give money, but don’t win the lottery, then give $5 or even $1, because this $1 will be added to 1000 other people’s $1 and start adding up. Just remember, money isn’t going to save the world, but praying can.
Thanks, Jodie. You remind me of my Grandfather Kenneth on this Thanksgiving Day. “Father” used to say that riches came in many forms, and many forms one could not put in the bank……… That got us youngun’s thinking, about the many forms “riches” and giving our gifts might be done…….. to enrich us ALL. So much to be grateful for still, this unusual year of so many changes and paradigm shifts. Many blessings for all your good works, Jodie.
I’ve edited this response because I felt I didn’t respond directly to the topic discussed.
I agree with you completely Diane!
The only question we must ask ourself about refugees is thisn one.:.In this situation,what the Christ would have done ?
Here in Canada,we hope to accept 25,000 refugees…In your country, the U.S.A. will accept 10,000…….
We have just to say to ourself ,we are the guardian of our brothers and sisters.The fear of terrorism is perfectly normal..but is is the job of the security department to filter the refugees,
Let’s open our hearts for people in great needs.
Serge, from Canada
Common sense comments that demonstrate that it is possible to live the words, “We are our brother’s keeper.”
Your concerns regarding stretched resources reminds me of this verse from the Diamond Sutra:
“Furthermore, Subhuti, in the practice of compassion and charity a disciple should be detached. That is to say, he should practice compassion and charity without regard to appearances, without regard to form, without regard to sound, smell, taste, touch, or any quality of any kind. Subhuti, this is how the disciple should practice compassion and charity. Why? Because practicing compassion and charity without attachment is the way to reaching the Highest Perfect Wisdom, it is the way to becoming a living Buddha.”
Thus, the reason we cannot help everyone is because we are attached to form and illusory concepts and qualities. We have limits in our hearts, thus, our ability naturally becomes limited and our attachments cause us tirelessness and stress. Buddhas and Sages have boundless compassion and practice giving without attachment, thus they can forever bless all beings all the time. The more we cultivate ourselves, the more of their blessings we become willing to accept.
Thus, we can help everyone, we just need to upgrade our own abilities and cultivate our boundless loving kindness through Buddha-name recitation and vowing for Bodhi. For instance, if you single-mindedly recite Namo Amitabha and dedicate the merits towards Pure Land rebirth, you can become a Buddha within one life due to Amita Buddha’s 48 Great Vows. Afterwards, you can help all beings in the entire Dharma Realm of innumerable worlds.
This is the whole mission of Buddhism, to achieve enlightenment ourselves so that we can help everyone to achieve bliss and liberation.
Namo Amita Buddha,
P.S. I recommend you have a look at Amita Buddha’s 48 Vows (page 9):
Not related to refugees but do you see things getting any better jodie
The areas which we see “getting better” or “getting worse” are happening because of either people praying and meditating for these areas of society or not praying and meditating for these areas. Currently, the sources of news – through the Internet, TV, etc. are the sources which tell us what areas of society are the areas of greater sorrow, suffering, and pain for people.
On the whole, humankind is progressing forward in it’s spiritual evolution. We rarely recognize this when we get the news of all the horrors and disasters, but it is true, nonetheless.
Progress is made anytime we pray, meditate, or work on bringing forth kindness, compassion, cooperation, mercy, forgiveness where there is little or none. Progress is made individual, by individual.
Still, the types of horrors we see and hear about in the news will continue. As this century continues, though, changes will be made and societies will grow. There is a much greater purpose to mankind’s existence on this Earth than just existing. God is committed to this greater purpose and will see it through to fulfillment.