Monthly Archives: September 2015

an hour of solitude

to sit and hear nothing but the crashing of the waves and be washed by the spray of the ocean…

 

the old man at the sea

 
a time for thinking

Leave a comment

Filed under seeking understanding

Hungary, Croatia, the EU, the Declaration on Human Rights and a disciple’s duty

I decided to take a break from my vacation and weigh in afresh. The migrants and refugees (I suppose we all know the difference by now) believe they have the right to traverse visa free through any country they need to get to the promised land (usually Germany or Sweden).

These travelers were throwing stones, intifada style, at the border set up between Hungary and Serbia. Hungary responded with water canon and either tear gas or pepper spray (The video I saw looked like pepper spray not tear gas). Some would look at this response as measured. Others as extreme. Mr. Orban may have made a grievous misjudgment, but I digress. The fence between Hungary and Serbia is up and for the most part, it has done the job for which it was intended. The refugees are connected enough that they are turning NW from Belgrade and heading straight to Croatia instead of Hungary.

Yesterday I saw the Croatian Minister of Health speaking as though things were well in hand. Today the Interior Minister mocked EuroNews when they asked if Croatia was overwhelmed. Six thousand since yesterday? Of course they are. So the army is on stand by and 7 or the 8 border crossings with Hungary are closed. God help those charged with keeping order in this madness.

Auntie Angelia has invited them by saying she will take 800,000. But we see how she receives them, she tightened the border with Austria as Austria and Slovenia tighten the border with Croatia. The chaos at the Serb Croat border today was as bad as any I’ve seen in Hungary when day after day the travelers rolled across the border, but without the same kind of violence. Good for Croatia. Yet, I warn you, that too much congratulations of anyone right now is very, very premature.

Here in the US all the relief organizations are raising money to see how they can help. In every country the common folk are the ones really helping out. Indeed, as I watch the fluidity of the situation, it looks like everywhere I go in the first two weeks of my trip there will be the unfortunates.

Here are a couple of questions that have been building in my mind.

Aside from Aunti Angelia telling the world that she will take 800,000 unfortunates into the waiting arms of Germany, who exactly started this flood? (Granted the 800k deal is a reaction to the situation, so she is not to blame for starting it, but perhaps for fueling it.) Where did these folks learn that they would be welcome in Europe? Is the basis of the right they claim The Declaration of Human Rights? Has that document been ratified by all these countries? Is that a requirement for EU membership? Is there another law that gives them the right to travel visa free through these countries?

The EU parliament wants the member states to accept refugees. Will the rich be required to take more based on per capita GDP? What about the economic migrants? What if this human tsunami doesn’t stop until the whole of the X millions of these displaced persons have moved from the Middle East to Europe? How can rich Germany, France and Austria afford to take the potential millions that may be thinking, right now, as you read, about leaving the refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon? Will they all, over the next couple of years at the rate of 3000 – 6000 per day, pick up and make the walk from the Middle East to Germany? My main question in this is from whom did these unfortunates learn that Europe wanted them? …that there are jobs and housing and security waiting for them?

In the last couple of years I’ve learned of the challenges that Germany, France and the UK have had assimilating  folks from Muslim cultures into their communities. Imagine what that will be like in 5 years? 10? With millions of new residents from Muslim cultures. Here’s another question: Is anyone asking about this migration as a security risk? How is it even possible to guess how many radicals are mixed in with the boni-fide refugees and migrants? Based on the way this travesty has gone down, how many are being radicalized in the process? Who, other than right-wingers, are asking this question? Is there really no concern about this? Or are all the politicians afraid to talk about it?

In the meantime, in the 30 minutes since I began getting these thoughts and questions written down, approximately 125 more unfortunates have crossed from Serbia to Croatia. Hopefully the Croatians will not have the same experience that the Hungarians have had with their “partners” upstream in this new river of humanity when closed borders cause the development of yet more “lakes of humanity” with nowhere to go. Until governments figure out what to do, common folk will do what they can to help. It looks like the funds I take with me may go to help refugees in Croatia instead of Hungary since at this moment that is where the need seems to be. But by the time I get to Hungary in a week and a half the situation may have changed yet again.

Individuals can only do so much. But we must do what we can. If you’re in the US and want your personal effort to join ours, you can donate at www.ceokids.org and read about what my friends and I are trying to do.

But even if you can’t give, you can pray. Ask the God of Abraham who sent His only Son Jesus to move in the hearts of decision makers to do the best they can for these unfortunates.

Justice. Compassion. Hope.

But remember dear reader, the only real hope is found in that aforementioned Son. Who loved you enough to give his life for you, no matter if you are Catholic, Agnostic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim, Atheist, or whatever, He loves you and rose to give you life.

If you’re a follower of Jesus, if you’re His disciple, you should be involved. By praying. By advocating for or serving or giving to these unfortunates. Give them a cup of water for crying out loud. Jesus said love your neighbor. Jesus said love your enemy.

There went another 125. What are you waiting for?

Leave a comment

Filed under crisis of refugees

praise from sea creatures

  
“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps,”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭148:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/psa.148.7.esv

Leave a comment

Filed under photos along the way, seeking understanding

birds and anxiety

saw these seagulls hangin’ out on the ruin of a dock… 

 

Thought of this (substitute ‘seagulls’ for “ravens”) …

“Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭12:24-26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/luk.12.24-26.esv

Leave a comment

Filed under photos along the way, seeking understanding

afternoon

  
“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭43:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/psa.43.3.esv

Leave a comment

Filed under photos along the way, seeking understanding

morning

  

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:22-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/lam.3.22-23.esv

Leave a comment

Filed under photos along the way, seeking understanding