I will never know what it is like to jump into an overcrowded raft that is about to cross crashing ocean waves in an attempt to save my life while putting it more at risk. I will never know what it is like to have a suicide bomber kill my entire family leaving me alone by the age of fifteen. I will never know what it is like to have my own country shoot at me and kill millions of my own people. I will never know what it is like to walk for months through snow and hardly any clothes to cover me. I will never know what it is like to have a country’s leader tell me that I have to be at the border to cross by a certain time because he is only letting 50,000 people through, yet still having the chances of being killed in the process. I don’t know what it is like to not be welcomed into a country. I don’t know what it is like to journey for miles and miles and miles, just to be told I can’t cross the border or I get killed in the end. I will never know what it’s like to be stuck in a refugee camp where I am treated like an animal and not an actual human being. I will never know what it is like to have sleepless nights because trauma from the war keeps me up all night. I will never know what it is like to make the entire journey to a camp just to be given an interview and sent back to the country I just spent months escaping from. I will never know what it is like to have an interview explaining why I left my country and where I want to go, and wait for months to years on what the government decides for my future.
I will never understand what these refugees have endured.
I will never be able to relate to them.
I will never know the right words to say to them.
But Jesus does.
Jesus knows the hearts of every single person escaping the war, ISIS, dictatorship, and extremists that are out to take their lives.
He made each refugee with His own hands. He breathed life into their lungs and intricately designed every fiber of their DNA. He pieced them together with all the love in His heart. He catches every tear that falls from their eyes when they recount their losses. He holds their heads up when the panic attacks pursue and they feel all hope is gone. Jesus has not and will not turn His face away from these people, and He is not blind to all the pain they are enduring.
To many people all over the world these refugees are a burden; they are ruining the countries that are so calmly closing an eye to the wars going on in their backyards. They are looked at as filth and scum; they are treated like their voices don’t matter. They are unwelcomed and turned away.
What if our response to the refugee crisis was different than how the world is responding? While the world is questioning the safety concerns or the over crowding, we ask: What is God doing? While the enemy is at work in the wars of these countries, what if God is also at work bringing these unreached people groups to our own countries ultimately bringing about the triumph of the gospel?
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth — in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan, and Syria — is mine. So go make disciples” (Matthew 28:18–20). We are not the ones who choose what to do with these refugees, that is up to Christ and He commands us to love them and accept them and to take care of them.
This is our chance to “do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow” (Jeremiah 22:3). The heart of our Father towards refugees is evident throughout the Scripture: “Let the outcasts of Moab sojourn among you; be a shelter to them from the destroyer” (Isaiah 16:4). When we feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, and clothe the naked, we do so as unto the Lord (Matthew 25:34–40).
We will never understand their lives, but we don’t have to. We aren’t called to relate, we’re called to love. Although God cares about all sufferings, He cares most about eternal sufferings- so should we.