I sat at my computer staring at the image of the little boy, Aylan, washed up on the shore of the Mediterranean, and I knew I couldn’t look away any longer. We like to look away don’t we? But deep inside we know we can’t– our hearts can not lay dormant but must awaken and feel. The pictures are real human beings. This was a mother’s precious son whom she fed and rocked to sleep night after night and now would never get the chance again. I made myself keep reading, and I read story after story of families that were risking everything because of Syria’s Civil War and the powers of ISIS. It is devastating to find out that 2,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean in the first eight months of 2015 alone. Fathers, daughters, friends, sons.
These 12 million Syrian refugees are fleeing for their lives and do not know where they will go. They are not looking to just better their lives, but literally to save their lives. It is so. many. people. Families that are sleeping in dumpsters and dodging bullets. People crossing into a new country in the middle of the night and mothers snuggling their children tight for fear they will be taken. How can we reconcile how they are living with how we are living? I’m thinking about getting my Pumpkin Spiced Latte this morning, and they are on the Egyptian shoreline waiting to board a smuggler’s dinghy in complete desperation. God wants more from me, from us.
I can feel so small when I see the magnitude of the crisis and can be fooled into thinking that I can’t make a difference. But, I was reminded of the words of Ann Voskamp… each one, DO JUST ONE THING. Together, as we lock arms in solidarity and love, all of our “do one thing” actions will pronounce loudly that we are with you. We want to welcome you. We will take care of you.
So, today on 9/11, as we remember those that lost their lives to terrorism, let us honor them by taking care of those that are affected by terrorism today. We are encouraging you to DO ONE THING. If you purchase this necklace, we will donate one blanket through World Vision to a Syrian Refugee in your name. Because you acted, one little girl will be warm through the winter night and the necklace will always remind you that YOU, right where you are, can make a difference.
I want to leave you with a prayer from Lynn Hybels that I pray will become your prayer: “God, what is mine to do? None of us can do everything, but we can all do something — big or small, according to what we’ve been given. And if we all do something, we can change the stories being lived out across deserts and oceans, at country borders and in the hearts of men, women and children just like us.”
Other ways to help:
***Consider signing this Petition to President Obama and Congress for the US to resettle 65,000 Syrian Refugees by 2016.
***Join the We Welcome Refugees site to find out ways to support and advocate for Syrian refugees.
***Donate directly to World Vision, World Relief, Samaritans Purse, Unicef, or other agency.
***Pray for the Refugees and for those on the front lines.
So grateful to be “Doing ONE thing” together,