I can’t imagine how difficult it is to feel you have no choice about leaving your home.
But if you can’t feed your children, if you have no hope for work and a future, if you are targeted for execution, if your home no longer exists because of war and bombs, then I don’t even think it’s an act of courage as much as an act of resignation and determination to save your life, to save your family’s lives, to be free.
In this case (and in many others, I would argue), there can be no justifiable argument for not opening our doors.
My friends were just here from Sweden. They spoke with great compassion about the fact that more than 1,000 people from Syria and other places are living in their town and what the community is doing to welcome them. And their voices were full of sympathy when they talked about how hard it is for them, and full of joy when they talked about the new stores popping up, and full of derision when they talked about people’s sanctifying culture which changes anyway. We let our fear overcome our hearts… and don’t check to see if the fears are real…
But in the land of Peace, all comers are welcome. Safety and respect are the boundaries we will keep. Peace. Welcome.
Believer, Non Believer… I believed we are all called to open our hearts and arms and houses to the strangers at our door…
That way lies Peace.
practicing radical hospitality and sometimes figuring out how to get it right! Welcome! Let’s Peace as the Thunder Moon wanes.
I don’t live in a perfect community. Neither do you. But I do live in a place where if I need help I can ask for it and be pretty clear that I will get help. I live in a place where if I’m missing or I seem “off,” someone will want to know what’s wrong with me.
That’s worth the world. It’s something worth building. It’s something worth participating in, and maintaining.
Right now in my faith community, there are a few people facing huge obstacles. It feels wonderful to know that people are gathering around. In a couple cases, there’s not much one can do but sorrow… but to know you do not grieve alone is very reassuring.
I’ve watched this happen in my beloved small town as well. People have needs and friends do what family cannot. Partnered relationship is lovely, and I treasure mine, but the embrace of the community is both supportive and restorative. I certainly felt that love and support as my sister was dying. I don’t know how I would have borne that without you.
This personal response is why I’m so pushy about feeding our local kids. I want our hungry children to understand that there are people in their community who want them to succeed, people they can turn to when nothing’s going right.
If you do this right, if you don’t make this about an exclusive club, this is a Peace that can seep out to bathe more and more people in the love. Last week in the Diwali ceremony, Anjalee finished with something like You are Home and welcome… and you are Home and welcoming… beautifully capturing the notion that there is a place where you are welcomed and a place where your work is to welcome… one and the same place. Let us keep building communities.