Written by:
Caitlin Hankins

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Showing a Little Compassion

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. - Deuteronomy 10:18-19

There has been a lot in the news over the past few years regarding refugees from Syria and other countries. There are many that don’t want them to come and few that are willing to accept them with open arms. I take inspiration from scripture when it comes to the situation. Leviticus 19: 14 says, “When I foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” The author didn’t say send these people some food, or if you see someone unlike you, maybe not from here, look the other way. It says, “do not mistreat them.”

We are called to help others, to feed them, to love them, to accept them into our home. I don’t know about you, but I have never read anywhere in the bible that told us as Christians, to turn someone away, because we are afraid of who they are. In Matthew 25, Christ says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

I have never read anywhere in the bible that told us as Christians, to turn someone away, because we are afraid of who they are.

One of the differences between those of us in the United States and these refugees is that they have been through more than we will ever go through in our life time. Many have watched their loved ones die, have lost everything they own, and are fleeing the only place they have ever known. Yet, many of us don’t want them to live here because we are scared.

When Jesus told us to “love your neighbor as yourself”, he wasn’t only talking about the family down the street with the two kids and the cute dog, or the older couple who needs some help with their yard work once a month. He was talking about the people who are not like you, who are not where you are from, who look different than you, who do not speak the same language as you and who may not be the same religion as you.

Before God formed you in the womb he loved you as his own, just like he loves the refugees who are trying to come to America to provide a better life for their families. A life without war and oppression.

I challenge you all to go love and accept everyone, as God would.

I challenge you all to go love and accept everyone, as God would, to not turn our heads and run from those who are different than us, but to accept them into our homes and provide for them. Wouldn’t you pray for that if it was you?

Discussion Questions:

  • How can we help others within our community who need it? What about those from around the world?
  • Think about a time when you were having a hard time, who helped you and accepted you for where you were at, at that time?
  • How are you going to go about loving and accepting someone different than you today?