Monday, 14 September 2015

Refugee Does Not Mean "Bad"

The Syrian Refugees...
Believe me when I tell you; at any moment one can go from being self-sufficient, from providing for one's family, from being, dare I say it, borderline relying completely on the generosity of others even if only for a moment. From my little perch, wrapped in a prayer shawl and popping my daily dose of anti-nausea pills I know just how quickly it can all change, as it has for so many in the Middle East. 

As you may know, my diagnosis of mesothelioma in mid-December offered me a  +/- year to live, 9 months ago. Since then, to say I have been completely in control of my own destiny would be an outright, bald-faced lie. I can barely choose my preferred breakfast cereal without help sometimes. I can imagine that can be a bit burdensome for my caregivers, if not now, then it could be. 

There, But for the Grace of God
Any of us could find himself a refugee, from his home, because of his religious or political beliefs, we may find ourselves ostracized and alone and God help us, on the run. Any of us can suddenly be too sick to work and find ourselves drawing from a system I thought could never repay what I have contributed in good health for almost 4 decades. Not so. I might even be overdrawn at this point.

When we are down and out, pray that we will be welcomed and helped. Pray we will not be denied our dignity. Pray our children will have enough to eat, and not vilified and criticized and given the label "refugee" as if a pejorative. 

Think it can't happen to you?  Look into the eyes of a man struggling to find food and shelter for his family in Canada. This guy had a flat screen and three-square meals daily not that long ago (just like you and me), now he's begging and pleading for a chance in the northern hemisphere.

Pray we will be forgiven for those times we haven't welcomed others.  If prayer's not your thing, don't worry...we've got you covered. Those who do will pray out the first steps and all the others along the way, you just jump in with your chequebook and by volunteering to help. You'll find us already there too, but ready for a little assistance. 

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