My children and I were listening to NPR last night, as we often do on our drive home. (You should try this. They get really quiet.) There were several stories about what is happening in Paris and the status of Syrian refugees across the world. I wanted to know what my kids thought of this. So, I carefully explained the situation.
As I told my kids about the plight of these people and what other people and nations feared, my 4th grade son piped up with:
“Wait, this is like that movie, ‘Little Boy.'”
For those of you not familiar with the film, it is about a little boy in World War II waiting/praying/wishing for his father to come home from the war. During that time, he meets a man of Japanese origin who is being mistreated by the community.
“So, this is like when the people were all mean to that guy because he was from Japan and everyone treated him like jerks.” he said.
We talked about what it would be like to be judged solely on your country of origin. Or state of origin. We talked about how it would make him feel if someone turned him away in his time of need because there are bad people in Alaska. Yes, there are criminals here too. And sure there are people who want to do great harm. There are evil people everywhere. But, there are also good people. People with kind hearts who want to help others, no matter what. And there are in-between people. People that just want to live their daily lives and not be scared to do so.
God calls us to:
Love our neighbors as ourselves. Mark 12:31
Feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Matthew 25: 35-40
Show love to foreigners. Deuteronomy 10:19
Now, I’m not going to get all high and mighty on you. This blog is typically about weird stuff my kids say, which usually relates to butts and poop.
I just think we need to see this situation through the eyes of our children whose first instinct is to love. To act out of love and to help others. Of course, what that looks like depends on who you ask. My 13-year-old daughter is also worried about refugees. She asked if we could adopt a refugee child. And then followed that up with, “But they’ll have to sleep on the couch because I’m not sharing my room.”