The Boy In The Red T-Shirt

I’d seen it earlier. You’ve probably seen it too—the image on the front of the Globe and Mail on September 3 2015. The three year old in the red t-shirt, washed ashore on a beach resort. His name was Alan Kurdi. “That’s awful,” I said to myself. Then I went on with the rest of my day.

That evening I watched a movie with my girlfriend. Then I showed her the picture. That’s when it hit me.

I’ve been asking the man upstairs if he could make me better a loving people, that somehow he would show me how how he feels when he thinks about them. Sometimes I guess its dangerous to ask for things like that. Turns out it can feel sort of unpleasant.

Every time I think about the boy in the red t-shirt a deep pain wells up inside of me. Tears well up in my eyes. While I sit idle on a couch watching movies, fathers lose their families while trying their hardest to save them.

Why does this happen? Why this great unbalance? Why is there such pain halfway around the world? Why does it seem that I can do nothing?

Church, what must we do? I’ve heard that the church struggles with staying relevant. Maybe this is a good place to start. Will we reach out? Will our hearts be troubled? Will our sleep be restless? Will this deep unrest cause us to love more deeply than we ever have before?

I think it must.

Church, let us not be idle. Let our hearts be broken. Let tears roll down our cheeks. No we can’t save the world, but we can damn well play our part. Let us love more deeply and more authentically than we ever have before. Let our feet be led by our hearts to pick up the pieces of our broken world.

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who brings good news,
the good news of peace and salvation,
the news that the God of Israel reigns!

In case you’re not up to speed on the Syrian refugee crisis, check out this article in the Globe and Mail.

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