Faith, Hope, Love

But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit [is] that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful. Luke 6:27-36

Let me start this by saying that my thoughts and prayers go out to every victim of terrorism in the world. That includes the recent events in Beirut and Paris.

People migrate from one place to another for various reasons. We migrate within our own borders to find new jobs, opportunities, be with our families, etc. The purpose behind this is to find better things in this life for not only ourselves but our families as well. What is different in the motives of people who are running from war torn regions of the world? I contend there is no difference.

It saddens me to see the outpouring of hatred in retaliation to the events in Paris. The majority of the Syrian population has been oppressed for decades, under dictatorships and now in the civil war that has succumbed the nation itself. Is that a reason for us to not open our arms to families trying to escape oppression? Would we have done the same thing during the major migration of the German population during the World War II Era? Have we not welcomed the Cuban individuals who crossed the waters to land on our shores because the government there is oppressive? Why the sudden change in policy or fear a mass group of people?

I realize there is economic hardship that comes along with an influx of migrants. We deal with this strain on a constant basis. It is not an easy problem to solve, nor do I have solutions on this item. I just know that the great book, the Bible, teaches to love our neighbors as we would love ourselves. There is no reason to deny someone opportunity, or to help our fellow people, no matter what country they are from. The good people of Syria did not choose to be born in that country. The same as we did not get to choose to start out in the land of opportunity, we were blessed with that by God’s Grace. If the tables were turned, I know in my heart, you would want to be given the opportunity to live in peace.

Then some say, well, we can let a terrorist in. Well, guess what, we have that potential already, without even letting one migrant into our nation. We have evil individuals that dwell among us already, eat at our same restaurants, drive our same streets, and spread their hate within our borders already. Should that also lead to the condemnation of a helpless individual? Should we start another Spanish Inquisition to figure out who is “good” and “on our side”? Again, the answer in this case is love.

Right now, my home is open to anyone who ever would need to come there. I have no problem opening my doors to shelter someone in need, and to be honest, I don’t care about their background. Is there potential for someone to steal from me? Yes. Is there potential for someone to harm me? Yes. Could I die because of my generosity? Yes! If I was to die that way, I would be dying for the cause that I have been called to do, loving my neighbor. If that is how I am supposed to go, that is for God to decide. Again, the message of faith, hope and love should be where our decisions are coming from, not that of hatred and loathing for others.

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