"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" - Emma Lazarus
Growing up as a Christian and an American, I always had a sense that I was on the good team. I was told our country was founded on ideals like freedom and justice for all. I was told our faith in Jesus led us to be the salt and light of the world. We were the sheep, not the goats. We were the ones who welcomed the stranger. Took care of the widow and the orphan. Our country was made of immigrants, and our motto was:
‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…’
But now as I look out at America and the Christianity within it, I wonder, is that really who we are?
Are we really the salt and light of the world? Or are we its oppressors? Are we known more by our love or by our violence?
Our world is fraught with tension right now, and almost everyone has someone to blame; The problem is the immigrants. The problem is Donald Trump. The problem is the Democrats. Everyone has a scapegoat to blame all of our problems on. But perhaps we would do well to take a moment and examine the log in our own eye before we try to fix anyone else’s vision.
Regardless of where you stand politically, the refugee crisis on planet Earth right now is a very real and pressing human issue. There have never been so many displaced people on Earth before. Over 65 million of them. 65 million moms and dads. Grandpas and grandmas. Sons and daughters. 65 million precious souls who have been displaced from their homes and need help in order to survive.
Forget politics for a moment, and ask yourself this question: is your heart with these people? Or are you caught up in your own fear or ego?
This is a sincere question for both conservatives and liberals. It’s possible to fight for immigrants rights because that’s the liberal and enlightened thing to do and still have no love or compassion in your heart for the people you are fighting for. So let me ask you again. Do you feel love and compassion for these 65 million people? Do you see them as your brothers and sisters? As Christ himself? (Mt 25)
I think that might be a better place to start from than jumping right into political debates. This heart of this issue has nothing to do with abortion or Obama or Trump or anything else that it might be tempting to distract ourselves with, so please don’t take this discussion elsewhere. The real issue here is what kind of people are we. Are we the kind of people who open our hearts to others in their suffering or the kind who get afraid and turn our hearts away?
We think this is an important question for people to be asking themselves right now, so we wanted to share this song with you called "Who We Are." We are putting it up and getting it to as many people as we can, including the charts and stems so that artists or churches can sing it if they’d like. Refugee Sunday is June 25th this year, and I hope that a bunch of churches do this song that day. I hope that some of us who still believe we can be who we’ve always said we are will rise up and link arms and speak love in a world so dominated by fear. I hope we can raise our voices together for those whose voices have been silenced. Will you join us?