Open Hearts, Open Doors

Open Hearts, Open Doors

What does it take for what we see with our eyes to make it to our hearts?

The news these days, the things our eyes have taken in…I can barely type the words.

I saw the men on their knees, chins bravely raised to the knife of ISIS. The children, “married” to men three times their age; the twelve year old girls being led away with wild terror in their eyes and no hope in their hearts while my child of the same age swings peacefully on the back porch, watching the sun set.

A child is a child, a life is a life. That twelve year old in Syria is no different from mine, and how can we turn away?

I saw the lab techs sifting through baby parts in a glass pie dish and the one who causally said “It’s another boy!” while prodding those remains with a wire probe; and I remembered the day we first saw my boy (the one who is taller than his father now, whose laugh just now rang through the house) on the flickering ultrasound screen and heard the joyful announcement…“It’s a boy”.  How easily things could have been different, for all of us.

A child is a child, a life is a life.

I saw the baby boy scooped off the beach, limp and lifeless. I read the words of his grieving father who lost everything in a desperate attempt to escape the terror that was their every day, their every night. Refugees, so many of them…living in circumstances incomprehensible to us while we rest here in our safety and our abundance. A life is a life, but theirs are ending in desperation, their dreams washing up like human flotsam onto a cold, dispassionate shore.

What does it take to bring the ache of our hearts into action?

If we stand for life, we stand for life. All lives matter. (click to tweet) The lives of those cut down for their faith, the lives of those trapped by evil, the lives of those who have not yet taken a breath, the lives of those desperate to breathe in freedom from oppression, terror and tyranny. The lives of women, the lives of orphans, the lives of the poor and the homeless and the sick and the weak.

Christian? It is not enough to sit back and watch, not enough to sit back and weep. If we stand for life, we must stand. We must open our hearts, and then we must open our doors. (click to tweet)

Open our doors to the refugee, open our homes to the orphan. Open our doors to the pregnant teen who has no one to turn to, open our doors to the drug-addicted newborn and to the un-loved and to the un-lovely. We have to lift our voices up and speak loudly for those who cannot speak, for those who struggle to be heard. We have to give more than our tears, our prayers, and our words of outrage. We have to stand up, open our doors, and give deeply of our lives and resources as well.

Respect for life must lead to action on behalf of life, or our own words condemn us as hypocrites. (click to tweet)

Has the news this summer broken open your heart, too? Are you ready to stand? Will you open your door?

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” ~Revelation 3:20, New Living Translation

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” ~Matthew 25:37-40 NIV

Let’s stand together, and do something about the things that break our hearts. Let’s find a way to open the door…

~Help refugees in crisis by partnering with a church in Europe, sponsoring a refugee family in your community or abroad, using your voice in prayer or in petition to the government on behalf of refugees: www.WeWelcomeRefugees.com

~Help women in crisis pregnancies, give them hope when the world turns away in judgement or apathy: Care Net (find a crisis pregnancy center in your area, and ask them for their needs)

~Help orphans worldwide: Christian Alliance for Orphans

~Sponsor a child in poverty: Compassion International

~Help prevent orphans by keeping families together: The Lulu Tree

~Adopt a waiting child from the US foster care system: The Dave Thomas Foundation

~Open your door to a foster child: Child Welfare Information Gateway

Lord, when did we see you hungry, or lonely or cold and afraid? When did we see you alone, or homeless…orphaned or war-torn? When did we see you abused, poor, suffering and hated?

The truth is, we saw you in every face of this summer of sad news. You stood at the door and knocked, Lord.

Open our hearts, that we may open our doors to You.