Many of us will have seen, wept and despaired over the harrowing pictures of the refugees risking everything for a safer life. Many of us will have grown angry over the apparent lack of concern for the situation; the washing of hands; the medias wholesale depiction of migrants as freeloading spongers and nothing else.
The more recent pictures of the drowned boys seem to have hit home to people the seriousness and the precariousness of the fleeing refugees, and it would seem as though the mood of the nation is beginning to change.
I don`t know the answer to the situation and I give thanks that I don`t have to make the hard decisions, but I do think there are certain things that are incumbent upon all of us to get a grasp of as soon as possible.
- the need to distinguish between refugees and migrants. Refugees are fleeing hardship and danger not because they don’t love their own country, but because they are genuinely scared to remain there. Why else would they put their children into an overloaded boat and set out into dangerous waters. Migrants, I believe, are not seeking to flee from harm but are looking for an economic improvement in their situation. Now I know that those two points are an oversimplified generalisation but I`m getting genuinely angry at the way the media portray those fleeing for their lives.
- The only lasting solution to the whole scenario has to be a European one, but allied with other nations. This could be the time when the European Union makes itself truly worthwhile in seeking to solve this and affording respect and dignity to everyone.
- As Christians, compassion, love, support ought to be at the forefront of our thinking. Jesus instructed us to stand on behalf of the poor, needy and the suffering and so we should be engaged in generous giving to the relief agencies involved in this area.
- As Christians we should be praying hard for our political leaders, the European and other national leaders, the refugees themselves, and for the aid workers of whatever nationality.
- The controversial bit !!!! We should be praying for those whose fighting has caused this; for ISIS, and other terrorist organisations that they may see the damage they`re doing and for their hearts to be softened.