A Call For Christians To Care For Refugees
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Politics

A Call For Christians To Care For Refugees

Mathew 25: 31-46

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A Call For Christians To Care For Refugees
Ashley Tippit

Ever since I was a little girl, I attended church regularly. I have always considered myself to be a Christian, and I have always found communicating with God to be a part of who I am. When I went to college, I was fortunate enough to be on a trip that exposed me to the real world consequences of the cycle of poverty. I visited Glide Memorial church and, with other Christians and non-Christians, formed relationships with people who were or who had at one point lived without a stable home. I was humbled by the awareness of my own fortune at being born a white, middle-class citizen. I was amazed by the power people had when they came together and helped those who are struggling.

The last two summers I have participated in a Christian program that brought me to Portland, Oregon, where, amongst other things, I was able to serve food to and eat with people who live on the streets. At first when going to “The Underground”, I was just a volunteer. I thought it was just important for me to do “service work”. Quickly, I realized that there was much more to be learned from my time with these very real people. It all started when I was invited to join a group of people who were playing cards while they ate. I was not very good at the game they were playing, but they let me play and helped me learn different techniques. They talked to me and accepted me, just as I was. Later on, I found myself seeing them, not as a people who lived outside, but as friends. We knew each other’s names and the stories behind them. We laughed together and loved one another. Though I originally thought that I was going to help them, it turned out to be my friends who live outside who helped me find healing.

From these two experiences, I realized how dehumanized I once treated people who live outside (and anyone I didn’t think was my image of someone going to heaven). I was filled with a deep remorse, which was transformed into a passion for loving and building relationships with those who are different than me, especially those whose physical needs I may be fortunate enough to be able to provide for. Eventually I realized that God has the power to provide, and when God provides excess, it isn’t for the greedy consumption of Christians, but for Christians to share with others.

When reflecting on these experiences, I am reminded of the story in Matthew 25: 31-46, which depicts crestfallen “Christians” who realize they won’t be getting into heaven because, though they declared a relationship with Jesus, they did live like Jesus. They saw hungry, naked and those in need of shelter, and they turned a blind eye. I know there are days when my greed causes me too to be a “goat”, not providing for “the least of these”. Currently, I see a great resemblance in this passage and the way some Christians are responding to the current refugee crisis. “Enforcing our boarders” is not what Christians were called by Jesus to do. We were called to be the “sheep”, who are valued in Matthew for feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and housing those who were in need of shelter. All political differences aside, our response to the refugees should be Love, because Love trumps hate.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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