August 24, 2016
The face of the refugee boy continues to haunt me as I try to understand what my role is in helping those thousands of hurting people – especially the children. That boy could be our grandson. He is a real kid with normal desires to play and learn, but at this point, his life has been shattered.
He did not choose to be where he is and he did not cause the problem that brought about his dilemma. He is a victim of other people’s choices. Along with his peers, the potential for any kind of peaceful and promising future is in jeopardy.
No doubt there are many other people who weep as I do when I look at that face. I don’t see hope or fear, joy or anger – just a blank stare from someone in shock. If children in that situation survive physically, will they ever heal mentally and emotionally? And will a day come when they will be able to trust the loving Creator God who allowed this to happen?
My struggle involves trying to understand how I am supposed to respond to this situation. My heart wants to bring that little fellow home – obviously not an option. If I were there, I would gladly welcome him into my arms and comfort him. But he is half a world away.
I have been conditioned to see and hear about human heartache and respond with a simple “what a sad story.” I can quickly move on to enjoying the comforts of life and complaining about things like the weather. I am aware of the hurt in the world but not personally changed by it.
Then I realize that there are children living close to where I enjoy life who are also victims of the bad choices of other people. And while they won’t often be seen on global media, we do have ways of knowing who they are and actually becoming involved – either through contributions to a helping organization or sometimes more personal connections.
I do not want to become so conditioned by the media in situations where I cannot respond that I miss the opportunity to be involved when it is possible.
Pastor Bill Ehmann