I can't get the picture out of my mind. The boy is so tiny, so limp. He looks not much older than my Moses. I bet his mama loved listening to him piece together sentences. I read he had a brother who was 5, just like my Aly. He also drowned when that escape boat capsized. I wonder if he was the swimmer Aly is; wonder how long he held on. It's been 24 hours since I've seen the picture, and I'm still crying over it. But can I make a confession, right here, before you all?
The first time this post on the refugee crisis popped up on my Facebook feed, I didn't click on it.
Maybe this doesn't sound particularly indicting but it is, friends. It was so intentional. It was such sin. Because I didn't want to know. I didn't want to know about the suffering of my fellow human beings, I didn't want to know about the dead bodies of children just like mine being scooped up on the beach, I didn't want to know about the terror that other mothers are living with today. My own life has just begun to settle down into the soft soil of routine, of normalcy. I didn't want to give that up. I desperately wanted to remain ignorant, and I made the willful choice to do so.
By the mercy of God that post has continued to circulate, and it came back up on my feed yesterday afternoon. I had a chance to be redeemed, and I took it. If you did the same as I the first time around (or the second, or the third), you'll find no judgment here. But it's not too late for redemption, and there are more Aylans that can be saved. Please don't hide your eyes from them. Don't we know they belong to us, too?
I want to scream. HE'S MY CHILD! HE'S MINE, DAMMIT! AND HE'S YOURS TOO! DON'T WE BELIEVE IT? DON'T WE BELIEVE THAT WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER? None of us, none of us, could find that boy in the sand and not double over in sobs. None of us wouldn't say that we would have done anything, anything to save him. I believe in humanity too much to not believe that.
The problem is, here in our living rooms, we don't have to look. We click the X, we scroll through, or maybe we read and pray and feel it but we don't walk downstairs to get our wallet and type in those numbers. We don't sign that petition because it takes 3 minutes and we've got to make dinner.
I believe in us. We can do better than that.
Below is a link to an extensive list of ways that you can take action. This is not one of those horrific news stories about which you can do nothing. Please sign a petition. Please donate to one of these legitimate organizations that are saving lives. If you only have $5, sign a petition and donate $5. The God who multiplied the loaves and the fish can surely do something miraculous with that too, can He not? But please consider giving more than you feel able. As Anne Frank said, "no one has ever become poor by giving".
They belong to you, too. Don't turn your head.