When I was a kid, my night-time terror was that Satan would come and give me a shot.
Yes, that’s what kept me up at night.
In my defense, Satan is pretty bad, and the needle in my mind was really big and long, like the kind they must use to inoculate elephants.
However, I knew that, if I covered my whole body up with my blanket, shut my eyes, and lay on my back, I would be safe – since the giant-needle-of-the-devil was only for butt shots. In retrospect, I am not sure what was so magical about my mattress.
It must have had some demon repellant on it.
I feel like we, as a culture, are doing something similar in response to our current refugee crisis. We wrap ourselves up tightly, clench our eyes shut, and pray that when we wake up, it will have blown over.
It feels so ridiculous to talk about how my writing is going when there are millions of Syrians living in parking lots all over the Middle East and Europe.
“Hey, did you know this is the worst crisis since The Holocaust?”
“Yeah, but check out my new nail polish!”
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe for one second that the suffering of others is lessened if I make myself depressed enough on their behalf. I try that with my husband all the time; he’s in a bad mood, so I try being in a bad mood, hoping this will, by some strange pretend math, make him feel better.
It never, ever does.
Even so, I can’t just act like life is normal. Right now, it’s not. Have you ever wondered what you would have done if you’d watched the Native Americans as they marched down the Trail of Tears? Helped them carry their loads. Or lived during the time of slavery? Been a station on the Underground Railroad, of course. Or been in Germany during WWII? Hidden Jews in my attic, no question.
Well, here’s our chance.
Please, don’t let history say that we stood by and pretended we didn’t know, or didn’t care. Please don’t let our children grow up to feel shame on our behalf. Please don’t shut your eyes and harden your hearts – one of two possible responses to suffering.
The other is to add action to your prayers: Pick up your pen. Google “how to help Syrian refugees”. Or follow a few of the links below.
If you are a Christian, like me, please start with World Vision. You can send an email to state lawmakers, and learn about donating, praying, and ongoing facts about how the crisis affects children and families.
Sign and email a Resettlement Support Petition to your state lawmakers.
Check out different organizations you can donate to at Public Radio International – including a downloadable app that links you directly to the charities mentioned.
Today lists more places you can donate, specifically if you are interested in families and children.
Join places like the UN’s Refugee Agency‘s digital dialogue, and get the message out that the world cares about what’s happening and wants to help.
Post these things on your social media accounts to get the word out. Please.