Last night I dreamt that an adolescent boy broke into my apartment through my back door. At first I was afraid. What does he want? He ran to my bedroom and grabbed my guitar. Then sat on my floor, face aglow at this magical thing. My fears relaxed and his face morphed into that of my son Henry.
I woke up and knew what it meant.
The powers-at-be have called them ‘snakes’ and characterized them as enemies but they are our children.
We are commanded to love all people, God’s favorite part of creation. Just as we are called to love all of God’s green earth, every animal of the forest, every snow-capped mountain peak, every sun-kissed rocky cliff, every tiny sea turtle at the beach-all of it–we are called to love humanity over everything.
If we don’t see suffering children in this world as our own, then we don’t see the heart of Christ.
I was in the hospital with my littlest one, cradling her in my arms as she slept when I saw the picture of the father holding his two curly haired twins.
This father is getting ready to put his babies into the ground.
As I sit holding my child of the same age, head full of curls like these babies, I cry. I know we are lucky. We are lucky to be American. We are lucky to have money in our bank account and lucky to be in a hospital with state-of-the-art technology. We are lucky that our littlest is going to be okay.
My heart breaks for this father. And for all of the parents who are burying their dead in Syria.
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.
We don’t have to try and understand all of evils of this world. It’s never the time to lash out and cast blame. It’s always the time to love.
Our heart’s response to this tragedy is everything.
There are people who are doing hard work in hard places.
There are stories that the news isn’t telling.
There are people in war zones facilitating the biblical art of reconciliation.
There are people in dangerous places with the sole purpose of meeting the needs of these broken, hopeless communities.
Jeremy Courtney moved his wife and kids to Iraq to form the Preemptive Love Coalition
Yes, we all have our own politics. Yes, we have our own religion. Love anyway. Step out across enemy lines and embrace conflict rather than run. Your love has the ability to transcend guilt, shame, and indifference. Wrap your arms around those you fear, and invite others to do the same.
Jeremy was a guest on one of my favorite podcasts last week and it did my soul so much good to break away from the news and hear soothing truth and the call to love first, ask questions later.
Please take a listen, and consider donating to Preemptive Love Coalition. They are currently the only aid group in certain parts of Mosul and donations go directly to war victims in Iraq and Syria.
Jeremy Courtney, Preemptive Love, on Steve Wiens podcast
What steps can we take in our own communities to love deeper? Who is the “other” in your community who needs an invitation to your table? Don’t wait. Invite them now.