30 August, 2015

Wake Up Call

Wake up, Europe, WAKE UP!!!
I´ve written another blogpost that I was supposed to type in and upload today. But it will have to wait (don´t worry, it will come later). Because today, my heart got stirred by something else.

The last days the news, and my Facebook feed, Instagram feed, and pretty much everything else has been filled up with photos I´ve wanted to avoid (you might be shocked and appalled to hear this, but bear with me) because to see them does something with me, and leaves me changed, unable to go on just as nothing has happened. It makes me see and feel all the selfishness thats in me, that I don´t want to admit I still have. My church has had a fast- and prayer week this week (optional, off course, and fasting from whatever and as much as you want, but that´s besides the point here..) and at church today, my pastor, while talking about the offering, showed some of these photos, and read from Isaiah 58. And it moved me, left my heart stirred once again. And I realize I have to do something about my selfish ways, and I cannot stay silent anymore. 

If you haven´t realized yet, there´s a lot of problems going on around the world today, and I´m not gonna pretend to have the solution to solve every single one of them, but as a society, we in the so-called western countries tend to turn our back to it for as long as we possibly can. As long as the problem doesn´t involve us, we tend to look at the news, talk a whole two seconds about how terrible it is, and then turn around and continue with our lives. A few years back I were teaching some teenagers about injustice, and I showed them a short video-clip from the movie ”Hotel Rwanda” when a reporter has got on tape some of the horrible massacres that were going on in Rwanda. The hotel owner tells the guy he´s glad he filmed it, and hopes for someone in the rest of the world to intervene, to finally step in and do something. But the reporter answers: ”I think, if people see this footage, they´ll say, ”oh my God, that´s horrible” and then go on eating their dinners.” And unfortunately, he was right, the rest of the world, did nothing, until it was to late, and millions of lives were slaughtered down. I´m sad to see we haven´t changed much since then, we still turn our back when the battles and injustice happen in other countries, in other parts of the world. And partly, I get it, it´s hard to know what to do and how to help, there are so many examples of us trying to help that didn´t turn out so good. But still, if we´re silent and turn our backs then, the people there tend to try to run away. And then we end up with the horrible photos of refugees just doing everything they can to try to survive as they flood into Europe. We end up with countries like Greece and Italy, who might have enough problems of their own, to also have to try to handle this flood of refugees coming into their countries, simply because they are the closest. And is it fair that they should help them alone just because if not, it´s their coastlines that will fill up with the bodies of the ones who didn´t make it?

Wake up, Europe!! It´s time to act, time to take a stand, for those less fortunate than us, for those who´s just trying to escape the horror, war and injustice going on where they came from. We can´t let Greece and Italy stand alone, we need to stand together. It´s to late to just help them where they´re at, we needed to wake up years ago if that´s all we wanted to do. Now, we need to embrace them, take them in, and help them get a new life. Even if that might intervene with my comfortable everyday life. Trust me, before all of this started, most of them had good lives where they were. They might never have wanted to leave. But things happened, we turned our backs, and now all they can do to survive, for their families to survive, is to flee. Let´s stand together with them, let´s take them in, make them feel welcome, help them overcome all the trauma they´ve been through, both before they left and during they´re flight. Let them, when they arrive and believes they´re finally safe, not still have to fight to survive, but let´s stretch out our hands and say welcome. Let´s give up our selfish ways (because, admit it, that´s really the only reasons we have for not doing anything), and let them in, take a load of their backs and give them hope for the future again.

«“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.»
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭58:6-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬

Wake up, Europe! (and yes, I´m talking as much to myself as to anyone else), it´s about time we stand together to deal with all the refugees coming across the Mediterranean. If you, like me, don´t know what to do, let´s stand together and pray, both for the refugees in southern Europe, and the situations in all the countries they come from. And let´s pray our hearts, minds and eyes are open to see the times and the opportunities we get to actually act. Let´s pray for our politicians to do the right thing, let them know that we want them to act, that we are willing to sacrifice some of our own comfort to see others get the help they need. Let´s get rid of our selfish ways.  Europe, it´s time to  WAKE UP, and ACT!!!