This is our fault.
For generations we have invaded foreign lands, imposed our will on other cultures, tried to play kingmakers when we didn’t approve of the kings.
For decades we have sent arms and money to corrupt governments, ones whose only concern was their own power, regardless of the means used to gain that power. Then, when we fall out with them, we send arms and money to armies looking to overthrow them. And so it continues, war after war, tyrant after tyrant, all funded and encouraged by people sitting in comfortable, wealthy surroundings.
For too long we have looked at these land and wondered why they fight us, why they see us as the enemy, when we have thrown money and guns at their oppressors and tried to force them to adopt our ways.
We cause war. We cause suffering. We cause death and fear. We deliver ordinary men, women and children into the hands of war lords and despots until they are forced into one action.
They run to the place they see as safe. They run to where the money comes from. They run to somewhere people do not live in constant fear of bombs, snipers, tanks and beheadings. They run to the place which caused all of this.
They run to us.
And we stretch out our arms and…
We say that we can’t accommodate them. We can’t look after them. We can’t house them, feed them, clothe them, heal them, comfort them…
They need to go home. They can’t come in. Stay where they are and leave us alone. We have enough problems of our own.
First world problems.
So, as the camps build up on our borders, as our train stations are filled with the hurting, as the bodies of the innocents wash up on our beaches we just watch. Our leaders, deafening in their silence. The money we have thrown at war, not diverted to aid compassion and love. We fall back on our man-made constructs we call borders to keep human from human because they are not “one of us”.
They are not migrants. They are not a problem. They are not a threat.
They are us. They are human. They are your children.
Lord, please forgive us.
Forgive us for our inaction, for our silence, for our actions which led to this disaster.
But, also, grant us wisdom. The wisdom to find the solutions to save and improve lives.
Grant us courage. The courage to take decisions in the face of opposition from those who have an interest in keeping things as they are.
Grant us humility. The humility to work with those who we often oppose, for the greater good.
More than anything, grant us all compassion. The compassion which helps us to move forwards together so this never happens again. The compassion which helps us to move past our race, religion, nationality, political views to accept that we all deserve love and respect. And life.
Lord, help us. Our world is broken.
But it isn’t beyond repair.