Tag Archive | refugees

Lest We Forget


“But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

(Mark 10:31)

“America First.”  A slogan much bandied about these days.  A slogan that makes me very uncomfortable.  Not because I don’t love my country.  I do, and I am grateful for all the good this country offers.  But I’m uncomfortable because this slogan

                     –flies in the face of Jesus’ warning that “many who are first will be last, and the last will be first;”

                     –permits us to feel entitled to neglect the  needs of others, especially the needs of millions of refugees who are fleeing from war, tyranny, and violence in their countries, in the hope of finding a safe place to live out their lives.

In response to this slogan, each month I want to post a picture of one of these refugees.  My hope is that as we look carefully at these pictures, we will remember those other words of Jesus who said that when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the stranger, we are really feeding, clothing, and caring for him.  And when we turn away from the hungry, the naked, and the stranger, we are really turning away from him.

This month’s picture


Omran Daqneesh, a 5-year old wounded in the fighting in Aleppo, Syria

His family lost their home.

August 17, 2016

Yes, we want our country to be safe, but aren’t we safer when we help others find safety as well?  Please join me in insisting that our leaders reject “America First” policies and lead our country instead with policies that are good for all people, no matter their race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion.

Black Beauty


So noiselessly he came,

this blue-black swallowtail, to sip

lantana on my deck, his stillness

echoing for me the tender silence

of eternity amidst the noise of inner

fears, against the din of ugly tweets,

of cries to build a wall, to slam our doors

against the tide of people orphaned

from their homes, their loved ones, tossed

into the chaos of a coarse and raucous world.


His soundless beauty whispers me

a blue-black grace that flutters silent

in the anxious corners of my mind;

his quiet presence reassures;

grace wings its way into our lives,

at times so unexpectedly.

New Eyes for a New Year

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I ask this year for eyes—new eyes to see, to really see—

the shimmer of a winter sun dappled through the emptiness of trees;

the cosmic black of tiny titmouse eye—the sense of awe, the touch of

fear, the gravity so far beyond his tiny self;

for eyes to see the anxious twitch of squirrel tail, paws scrabbling

desperate through snow to find his hidden cache—how can I not forgive his

intermittent thieving from the feeders for the birds?

For eyes to read the poems of the wind, lines ragged,

harsh at times, but often soft and rhythmic, even kind; for eyes to

fathom something of the hallowedness in all this vibrant

life that breathes and dances just beyond my door.


I ask this year for eyes—new eyes to see, to really see—

the dazzle of imago dei just behind the masks that

greet me in the store or on the street;

to see the loneliness that hunches gray beside the

widower who sits near me in church;

to see the hope that glimmers in the hand of a child reaching

up and up and up.


I ask this year for eyes, new eyes—

that reach beyond my narrow life to vision

mother huddled in the soundless cold, her

children’s hollow eyes the only paintings on her

walls, confined now to a tent among the

rows and rows of tents that shelter

other refugees; for eyes that reach to

frame so many lives that ache with yearning for the

simplest things—food and water, schools, and freedom from

hostility and war that has defined, consumed all

they have ever known.


This year—no resolutions; just the

wish, the hope, the prayer, for new, unshuttered

eyes that open up my soul and

let the world come in.