I was having a stressful day. My son was going crazy and acting all-two-year-oldish, hiding important things and taking a rusty hinge off our bathroom door while I was in the shower; I was trying to juggle my traveling schedule for the summer; and I had gotten an email from a friend asking if I’d be able to help her out with childcare while her mom has important surgery next month. A lot of stuff was going on all at once, and as I served my son lunch with the radio on in the background, I was so thankful that it was all I had to worry about.
The talk on the radio was all what it had been all week: missile launches and civilian casualties on one hand; kidnappings and terrorism on another. Here I was, stressed out about so many things, but here I was, not having to worry about what food to give my son or how to cross a variety of countries on a train nicknamed “The Beast.” (A journey, by the way, which is seriously dangerous. And there are children making that journey.)
So I had the chance to change my perspective a bit. But it’s more than just perspective, though – it’s about reality.
I have some opinions – and, well just thoughts, really – on the situations happening in the Middle East and what’s happening in our own country with the immigration issue right now, and I haven’t had time to really process what I think about them.
But no matter what I think about them, what I feel about them right now is sorrow. I feel sorrowful that children are being left in empty parking lots with no food, water, or way to get in touch with any family they have here (if they have any). They might not understand 99% of what’s spoken to them in English. They still have yet to process the journeys they took to get them to that lot, and it might be years before they really understand what it took to get them here.
I feel sorrowful that Palestinians are being killed in the hundreds by the day. I feel sorrowful that Israelis feel so threatened and that they are dying, too. I feel a bunch of sorrow about that ridiculous soup of a mess in Iraq. I feel sorrow that Christians are being driven out in droves from their homes because of what they believe in.
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
I don’t know how old Jesus was when his family fled to Egypt. In my thinking he’s a toddler still, but I’m not sure of the timeframe – how long did they stay in Bethlehem after His birth? Was He a baby? Could He walk? I know He was still so young…the same age as many of those being driven from their homes right now in so many countries across the world. Did they know anyone? Could they speak the language?
There’s so much the Bible doesn’t tell us, but one gets the feeling that fleeing to another country in fear wasn’t the most enjoyable experience.
Jesus and his family were fleeing persecution – certain death.
Do you feel different knowing that? I feel more convicted every time I think of it – that my response to these situations better match how I feel about it when I read that Jesus had to go through that same thing. Because it’s the same thing.
Yes, it’s all a mess. Things happen. Consequences happen. Causes and effects. But there’s our response, too. What will we do about these things? How can we love them? That’s all that matters.
How can we love?