Take a minute (or three) to experience in a very small way what it is like to be a refugee. My friend Keelan Cook shared this post from the BBC that created a video to portray what it is like for many, many people fleeing and seeking refuge from ISIS. As I read Keelan’s blog and watched the video (you should do both for this blog to make sense), here are few things that struck me that I want to pass along to you:
These are not nomadic people. It’s nothing short of embarrassing to admit I subconsciously felt this way. Throughout this whole refugee crisis I never thought about the fear of navigating from one place to another without technology or help. I assumed there must be some system in place directing people where to go. What you will see in the video is that these people have to rely on strangers and the same cell phone maps available to us. The difference? Significantly worse cell coverage. Which leads me to my next observation:
These people are also living in the digital age. Imagine if you were dropped off in downtown DC near the Lincoln Memorial and told to find your way to Baltimore. That wouldn’t be fun, but it would be doable. Imagine as you walk up 95, you can see the tall buildings and the obvious outline of your destination; you’re almost there. Now imagine being one exit away from M&T Bank Stadium and being told Baltimore is closed; go around. Still, not ideal, but doable. This is nothing like what Syrian refugees are facing. They are facing a 200+ hour walk before receiving the news the border is closed, and they are doing with very limited means of communicating with family or technology to navigate because of cell signal.
The refugee’s season of crisis is the Church’s TBD. What I mean by that is the crisis for the refugee demands a response, and our answer is “to be determined.” The Church has a decision to make. Do we follow suit in loving our neighbor’s by bandaging wounds, opening our homes, and extend mercy like our Savior? Or, do we get in line with the utilitarian West? The answer we give in word will not mean much. What we do in action will unveil our decision.
*This is a repost of a blog created by Keelan Cook.
*The video should be watched on your phone for the full effect.