I sit here, in the early morning hours, staring at my Christmas tree.
It’s covered in peaceful white lights, and there is already a small pile of presents beneath it. There is a cat — cute, fuzzy, slightly annoying — sitting on the arm of my chair, casually touch my arm with his paw while I type, a quiet bid for attention. The family is asleep upstairs; outside there is white snow falling like manna from the sky.
And all I can see in my mind is Aleppo.
Worse? All I can hear is the silence of American Christians.
Oh, I get it. I know. We’re all busy. It’s Christmas, after all! We have presents to buy and cookies to bake and family to organize and sing-a-longs to
survive attend. And a few years ago, I would be annoyed by a blog post like this, thinking it intended to make me feel guilty.
Guilt is not the point. Guilt is useless.
This is about an invitation to participate in God’s Kingdom. It’s about Love God, Love Your neighbor. It’s about following Jesus in that Jesus freak kind of way. I’m saddened that more of us have not spoken out in a really big way; that we have not joined our voices in unison to demand some sort of action.
I’m angry that there’s a Russian government run amok, hacking our elections and bombing the crap out of Syrian children, massacring civilians on site. And I’m so beyond pissed off that quite possibly, that tampering, combined with our uniquely FUBAR’d electoral system, a narcissistic, orange demagogue with unusually small fingers is now practically offering a spare room in the White House to Putin, and nobody seems to be speaking up for the Syrian children, least of all the American Christian machinery.
There may have been a time in our past — before television, internet, the iPhone, Facebook — when we could at least have an excuse. Oh, sorry Jesus. I didn’t know.
But that time is gone, precious friends. We can’t un-see Aleppo. And if we turn away, that’s on us. So look, for a moment. Just look and see with the eyes of Jesus. Keep company with Him while He weeps. Then, after you’re done, scroll down for some ways you can get involved.
How you can help.
Support TOGETHER RISING.
TOGETHER RISING is Glennon Doyle Melton’s non-profit, and they have partnered with organizations on the ground in Aleppo. Glennon has promised that 100% of the proceeds donated will go directly to these organizations. This is from Glennon’s Facebook page:
WE HAVE A PLAN TO DO MORE. DO NOT SHUT DOWN. STAY AWAKE, PLEASE. WE ARE THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR.
With the funds raised this week, Together Rising will use 100% of what we receive to:
• purchase and fully equip two ambulances with medicine and medical supplies for 6 months, and enable The White Helmets to rescue children and vulnerable people trapped in the rubble;
• equip the mobile hospital with medicine and supplies and allow Independent Doctors Association to serve the injured and help fund the planning of the only pediatric hospital in the region; and
• continue to fund the work of Help Refugees volunteer network devoted to delivering people to safety.
You have raised $217,000 for Aleppo since Tuesday night. Please continue to give. Every penny of your tax-deductible gifts that we receive will go DIRECTLY TO AID GROUPS ON THE GROUND. Zero wasted. There is no time, or energy, or love to waste. Please read, give and share.
FOLLOW THE MIDDLE EAST COUNCIL OF CHURCHES ON FACEBOOK
When I was in Jordan, I met with Wafa Gousous of the Middle East Council of Churches and learned about their work with Syrian refugees. Their website is currently under construction, but you can follow them on Facebook and learn about their efforts to care for the refugee. I have not been able to find a donation link yet, but when I do, I’ll post here. At the very least, MECC is a great place to get informed about what it’s really like to be a refugee.
Whether you call your congressperson to demand action in Aleppo, or whether it’s simply to combat xenophobia when you see it in front of you, resist. This is a time for defiant love to move into action. The time for silence is over. Speak out. For some of you that may be some very uncomfortable situations. Do it anyway.
It’s the only way we’ll get through this. When our hands are emptied of everything else, the throne room is all we’ve got left.
Love, I know it’s a lot. These images — they’re hard. And me, calling us all out, is hard. It’s the thing I’m called to do. But I get tired too.
I started something called The Pause Lifestyle. It’s about pausing in our busy lives to make more room for God. Because God’s the only thing that works. I hope you’ll come and check it out. We’d love to have you come. Be sure to join our Facebook group, too. We’re just getting started over there.