I woke up this morning to the news that armed demonstrations are being planned at mosques in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I have been watching the events of the refugee crisis from afar, observing the battle on Facebook and in the news as Americans voice their opinions and use the Bible to support their own thoughts on all different sides of the issues.
But I have personally visited a mosque in Dallas, I have gotten to know Muslims in that city and in other parts of the US and the world. I am heartsick, to be honest, at the hatred and fear that is controlling decisions and motivating these actions.
Have we forgotten our call to love? I understand the arguments for wisdom, for trying to protect our families and our freedoms. But understand this, every time I have listened to someone who used to walk the path of a different religion but who now follow Jesus, they have told story after story of a Christian who showed kindness, who extended friendship and help and love. It was the compassion of a lover of Jesus who reached out to a Muslim woman who arrived in the US with nothing after escaping for her life from her country. Now that woman also loves Jesus and has made it her business to welcome refugees into the US and to share that same love of Jesus with them. That love means that we don’t want to see anyone spend an eternity apart from the Savior that created them, that longs to have a relationship with them.
I was pondering this thought this morning as I prayed for my home country. What if a terrorist does get in to America? What if he or she has a plan to destroy our government or attack a major city? And what if one believer decided to welcome this person with the love of Jesus, to speak truth and show kindness, and what if this person had a radical encounter with God? And her life was changed forever? How can we miss that opportunity? How can we give into fear?
So what do we do? I think we must pray for peace. This world is crazy and the only hope we have is Jesus and His transforming power. Pray for hearts of love rather than hate. Pray for understanding rather than fear. Find a way to show compassion, to show love to the people around you who might be from a different background than you are. I need to do all these things too. Let’s step up as the body of Christ around the world.