We know children.
We see them in our minds eye –
bubbling with giggles,
erupting with laughter,
glowing with life,
showing the imp in their eyes,
itching to move, and
energizing all around.
We see children as hope for the future and joy for the present.
We count ourselves blessed to have them in our lives.
We pray over them, watch them grow, beam at their success, and bask in their joy.
This is how the heavenly Father thought of them and created them. He created them to bring joy and hope. The Father created them to be loved, nurtured, taught, and enjoyed.
Each person is a child. It does not matter how old a person is, he or she is a child of someone. Whether the person is 6 or 86, he or she is a child still. Father God created each of us for relationship with Him and others. He created us with joy, laughter, and love.
We are the created children of the Creator.
Look at another picture -
Some children are not bubbling with giggles or erupting with laughter.
Their smiles are muzzled and their laughter is muffled.
Their faces are strained and stained by tears.
The imp in their eyes is hooded.
Their bellies grumble from ceaseless hunger.
Their shoulders are slumped and the life within them is hiding.
They walk with meager possessions wrapped in scrap cloth –
a book, a picture, a pan –
not knowing where they will sleep, what they will eat, or where they will find safety.
Their hope is snuffed out.
This is the picture we see of so many millions of “children” of all ages in this world.
· The holes in their lives are bigger than ones left by military rockets in their homes.
· They are mere ashes of their former selves before political violence burned their villages.
· Greed, politics, coups, and natural disasters left them as detritus.
Shoeless and bleeding feet.
The light in their lives a vague spark.
Do we acknowledge these, our brothers and sisters? Do we recognize their humanity as ours? Do we allow the Father to stir the spark of our compassion to a fire? Are we willing to breathe life into the flames with the Father to stir ourselves to action?
Geography separates us from these other children, but for that, we would be them.
Are we so self-contained we do not feel, look from our lives and selves, or make ourselves known so we can assist our other siblings?
· Father God told us to allow the children to come to Him (Matthew 19:14).
· God said, after He created humanity, it is very good (Genesis 1:31).
· Jesus commanded us to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27).
· Apostle Paul told us explicitly to love our neighbors as ourselves (Galatians 5:14).
All “children” God created are our neighbors.
All the children are us, our siblings.
Will we acknowledge them - their need and their pain - and allow God to fan the flames in our hearts to radiantly love them and kindle life, hope, and joy in their lives again?
Can we sit and see them with unseeing eyes and hear of them with unlistening ears?
Can we be so un-human that we deny the love the Father felt when He created us and put in our hearts?
We can choose to slam the door on our humanity.
· We can become less human and then, of our own choice, dampen the love, joy, and hope He put in us.
· Or, we can join the Father and fan into brilliant flame these essences of God within us.
We can stand for the tired, fearful, and hopeless millions upon millions who have been made Refugees.
Will you close your eyes, shut the door of your heart, and not acknowledge these desolate siblings?
Or, will you become completely human with the heart Father God gave you?
We are them