It's a little rambly but I wanted to share my heart this morning ....
I have been so saddened in the last few days. I look at my Facebook and I see people I love in fear, I see Facebook full of hate, I'm saddened by people who are afraid to help others who are in grave need.
And I don't always express that well.
I grew up in east Dearborn. A city that has the highest population of Arabs outside the Middle East.
I grew up with people who love God that were Muslim. Who peaceably assemble to pray and to fast during their holidays. I grew up with people who would give you anything and everything they had if you needed it. They take care of their family no matter how far away. Were they perfect? No.
I also grew up in a family that were Christians, where the patriarch of our family (my grandpa) hated people based on the color of their skin. (I'm so thankful for My dad who raised me so very differently than that). I grew up in a family where my cousin was a drug addict and on michigans top 5 offenders list for crimes that lead to feed that addiction. My family took me to church but never really told me who Jesus was. They didn't always live like him either, and sometimes they did. Were we perfect? No.
We moved to Lincoln Park when I was in 10th grade. Talk about reverse culture shock.. Someone asked me in my first week of school if I wanted to chase blacks out of the city, they called it "coon hunting". I was shocked, what kind of alternate universe did I move to? No one really lived out any sort of religion here, except for my friend "mend". She'd talk about church and God but id tell her they were a bunch of freaks. I could of have been voted "least likely to love Jesus" back then.
Fast forward many years, after much pursuit by God for my heart, I surrendered my life to Him. It took me awhile to get it. To learn about grace, mercy, and His never ending love.
Did this decision change the way I felt about my Muslim friends? Not one bit, maybe even made me have more respect that they live out their faith.
Fast really forward to current state of the world today. People fighting and trying to deny Syrian refugees who are in desperate need of our help. Our governor and a few others have said "we don't want them here".
I'm saddened by Christians who are afraid of what will happen if we let them live here. Well, they have been living amongst you for a long time. I'm sad that we've forgotten that Jesus calls us to love, no matter the cost.
I say with a very heavy heart, all this hate, if I didn't know Jesus now, if I didn't know of His grace, His mercy, I
Wouldn't want that Jesus that lives I the hearts of those who call Him Lord.
I have friends who have lost family members because they couldn't get them out of Syria soon enough. Today I woke up and wondered how I'd get my steps in, other moms wonder if their children will live or how they will feed them.
One of the girls in youth group, her favorite scripture was Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” That scripture is the one that comes to the surface of my heart in times like these.
It is not a religion that brings hate, but the person who carries it in their heart.
I know I can't convince you that "they" aren't evil, no more than you can convince me that we shouldn't help them. I want to always remember that God wants us to love, even when it's hard and maybe I needed to remember that myself today.
Love always wins, it has to.