Day Seven: Praying for wisdom to know how to respond

Before the Syrian civil war began, Hassan Zaroid, 42, owned his own business in the Syrian city of Homs.

“I was happy. I had a house. I had a car,” he says. “But then I lost everything.”

In 2012, a year into the war, he and his then-pregnant wife decided it was too dangerous to continue to stay in Syria. So they fled to Jordan with just the clothes on their backs. They’ve been there ever since.

“Long ago I gave these commands to my people: ‘You must see that justice is done, and must show kindness and mercy to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners who live among you, or anyone else in need.” Zechariah 7:9

Unable to work because of his refugee status, Hassan has struggled.

“I was so depressed,” he says. “There was so much emptiness.”

But Hassan was determined to take action.  Though he’s not legally allowed to work, Hassan decided to volunteer.  Today, he spends his time helping other Syrian refugees at a refugee center in the city of Zarqa, greeting people and helping direct them to the right offices.

The work provides a way to lift his spirits, to feel more hopeful about a future that is still filled with uncertainty.

“I’ve gotten better. I’ve started seeing other people who were worse off than me,” Hassan says.  “Through my prayers to God I feel optimistic that tomorrow will be a better day.”

The plight of refugees and displaced around the world can seem overwhelming, but even small actions can make a difference.

Today, we pray that

  • God will show us how we can care for refugees so that tomorrow is better for those who suffer
  • no borders will encircle our hearts and that we would find a place within for all refugees
  • we turn our hands from building walls toward building justice.

Lord of All,

Some of us make our homes on hills, others in valleys. Some in tall buildings, some on shorelines, some at risk on the street. We divide up our patches with lines we scratch into the ground and call them borders. Where the lines don’t suffice, we build fences. Where fences fail, we dig moats. Where moats aren’t enough, we erect walls.

But what if we were to look across these borders? Across fence, moat, and wall and see you on the other side?

Lord, teach us to reach across all borders, fabricated or natural, to join with all our brothers and sisters to unify, and not separate. To honor all who wander seeking hope, seeking opportunity—seeking you as assuredly as we seek you.

Amen

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