Give us counsel and make a decision. Shelter us at noonday with shade that is as dark as night. Hide the refugees; do not betray the one who flees. Let my refugees stay with you;
be a refuge for Moab from the aggressor. (Isaiah 16:3-4a)
This seems straightforward to me. I know it was written about a specific situation, but I think when we use the cultural context of Scripture to excuse ourselves from helping people, we’re wrong. We don’t honor God or His Word with that kind of dismissive attitude.
I don’t know how to solve the refugee crises around the world right now. But the problem isn’t new. What’s new is being able to argue about it online in real time, to voice each of our opinions with fears, quick answers, and detachment. As if we’re all authorities who completely understand the core issues and can foresee all the implications of what someone else suggests.
What I know is when we dehumanize others, we dehumanize ourselves.
Our lack of compassion and empathy says more about ourselves than any “issue” we might be addressing. And by issue, I mean people’s lives.
It has risks, but so does getting out of bed every morning. If we’re not willing to live bold lives, what are our lives actually worth? Who wants to simply pass time, or waste it on social media, every day?
Risks mean we might get hurt. So might others.
Oh, wait. They already are.
People need help.