This article from Sojourner Magazine (click on the highlighted text to read it for yourself) made me think about the path of refugees differently. There is indeed a trail taken by thousands of refugees, narrowed as countries shut down borders and force people to head a different way.
What would you do? What would I do? If the United States were being torn apart by war, would I take my baby boy to Mexico or Canada (perhaps on my way somewhere else) to be safe? I would probably try.
But what if thousands of people were literally at my doorstep? And I was afraid some of them might be terrorists? What Hungary and Croatia are looking at is not the same as the 10,000 Syrian refugees we have sprinkled all over our vast nation. (80,000 people trekking through a nation (Croatia) smaller than Kansas?) Check out this interesting comparison of Croatia to the U.S. on ifitweremyhome.com.
I don’t know. I hope I would be generous and welcoming. But I might also be afraid. I am not afraid of 10,000. But if our country’s population doubled overnight with people who didn’t speak English? Yes, I have to admit I would struggle with some fear, and perhaps even some anger. (“This is MY country! Why do I have to learn a different language to communicate with people in my own nation?”) So I cannot judge when a nation decides to close its borders, as Hungary has done with the Hungary-Serbian border.
But–what if Egypt had closed its borders to Jews? Joseph and Mary and Baby Jesus were refugees from the wicked King Herod. What an eye-opening thought!
Flight Into Egypt, by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1923
War is a terrible evil. I can only pray that God will do many miracles–that He will stop the Syrian war, but also that He will open our hearts so we use this opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people who formerly couldn’t–or wouldn’t–hear.