When the people of Judah were sent into exile, all their hopes for the future dried up. They were forced to leave behind all they knew-the Temple, their homes, their businesses, their ancestral fields, their flocks, their familiar diet, their culture. Everything. Many were separated from family and friends forever.
In December of 2015, the first of 25,000 Syrian refugees began arriving in cities across Canada. They did not wish to leave all the creature comforts of homes and their livelihoods to face homelessness, hunger, exhaustion, sickness, as well rejection and taunts of citizens who saw them as intruders or, worse, terrorists.
God’s promise of comfort today extends to these bone-tired refugees: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” Always at work to bring good out of bad, God is bringing today’s refugees a future with hope: “You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bodies shall flourish like the grass.” I love that image. In a land where water is scarce, lush green grass is a sign of abundant life. By God’s grace, and a little help from their Canadian friends, these newcomers are not only surviving, but thriving.
Merciful God, we thank you for inspiring so many people to reach out in love toward all those whose lives are broken. Teach us your compassion. Amen. — RF