How We Treat Our Neighbor

Hope is at the end of the road on the other side of the barrier guarded by soldiers with families at home.
Dreams are found on the other side of the ocean controlled by the nightmare of weather and pirates.
So they walk or sail.
So they risk it all to be left hammering on the borders of Europe.

Desperation must be inside a mother’s heart to risk it all,
To get inside a frail boat and believe in broken promises.
All that she has is floating towards the absolutely unknown landscape.
All that she knows has been left at the shore on the other side with enough horrors for several lifetimes, absorbed into the very soil of that land.
All that she can see is uncertainties.
All that she believes has been shaken.

The story that she carries will one day be told like other stories, from other brave women, in other moments in history.
The story that she is writing will be dependent on the life she can build.
The way that she is welcomed will be the glasses she wears forever.
The way she is treated will form the fabric of her family in the future.

We are all human with the same hands that need to be held.
We all have hearts that can be shattered and scared.
We all feel the fear of a world we cannot control.
We all have tears that fall to the ground we stand on.

We will be judged for how we treated the neighbor.
For how well we love the stranger.
We are being observed as to how well we embrace the lonely.
For how well we house the homeless.
We are being noticed for how well we defend the marginalized and confused.

Have we space in our hearts to hold the grieving?
Have we got room at our table to welcome the stranger ?
Have we got time to listen to the lonely ?
Have we got hands that can work on rebuilding?
Have we got a passion to declare His hope ?
Have we got dreams that include new frontiers?
Have we got faith to believe in redemption ?
Have we got a story we know is worth sharing?
Have we homes that can gather the generations?
Have we got space to notice the broken?

The older I get the less I feel I know sometimes and there is less that I can be certain of, but this is a rock on which I can stand and a truth I can shout from my doorstep.
Jesus came for the lost, the broken, the hurting. He embraced the outsider, the stranger, the alien. Surely we can do that instead of campaigning about the signs on bathrooms and shutting our borders to children.

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