Letter to Syria

Dear Syria,

I’m sorry. I heard about your plight but I was indifferent. It seemed so far away. So unlike anything I’ve ever known. I heard about your troubles but my heart tug didn’t last long enough to make a difference.  Now I see the pictures of the dead and it hurts my heart. I hear your cries but I feel powerless to help. The truth is I can’t begin to comprehend what it is like for you.

By FreedomHouse (2014) https://www.flickr.com/photos/syriafreedom/11830978706/ Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Photo Attribution by Photosforclass.com

Picture of bottom half of a child under the rubble caused by Assad death barrels by FreedomHouse (2014) https://www.flickr.com/photos/syriafreedom/12340958403/ Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Photo Attribution by Photosforclass.com

I live in a country that is most of the time peaceful. I’ve never really lived in an area torn by war. Sure I’ve seen people go to war but it was always far from my home.  I never really felt threatened.  I can’t imagine living where I might hear bombs or gunfire on a regular basis. I can’t imagine having to leave everything I know in hopes of living in freedom and safety. Fleeing, running for my life at the risk of being caught and killed.

After the attack of Assad death barrels on Aleppo, Syria by FreedomHouse (2014) https://www.flickr.com/photo/syriafreedom/12341259244/ Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Photo Attribution by Photosforclass.com
Syrian man carries the body of a victim out of the rubble of a destroyed building following alleged air raids by government forces on the rebel-controlled part of Aleppo’s Maadi residential district on January 29, 2014. FreedomHouse (2014) https://www/flickr.com/photos/syriafreedom/12340949833/

I can’t imagine not having enough food for your children and having to choose to feed one and let the other die in hopes of not losing both of them.  I can’t begin to imagine the fear and the terror.  Having to leave loved ones bodies behind and not give them a proper burial.  I can’t imagine running to get to the border and not being able to cross.  I don’t know what it is like to watch loved ones shot down.  I don’t understand your world. I can’t imagine fleeing to get to another place to find that you can’t get legal work and still having to fight to survive stuck in a refugee camp if you are that lucky.  I can’t imagine living in tents with little to no food and not provisions.

An informal tented settlement home to around 50 Syrian refugee families in the Dekaa Valley, Lebanon by DFID-UK Department for International Development (2017) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfid/31844144934
An informal tented settlement in Lebanon’s Deka Valley by DFID-UK Department for International Development (2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfid/111174052664/

I can’t imagine the struggles of having to learn a new language, a new trade in hopes of a better life if you do reach another country.  I don’t know the depths of your grief as you hear from so many that you are not welcome here.  I live in the United States where there is a ban on refugees because we must beware of terrorist like ISIS which makes it hard to help the innocent without subjecting them to lots of red tape.  All in the name of keeping America safe.  It really is an attack of satan.  Because of the bondages of fear and prejudices sent from hell we have failed you.

by Trocaire (2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/trocaire/9182721730
The Future of Syria-Scarred by UNHCR Photo Download (2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/101268966@N04/11116194324

Syria we have failed you.

Syria we have failed you.  We live in a Christian Nation and we have turned mostly a blind eye to your struggles.  It was easiest not to get involved.  Even now with our latest involvement, I question its helpfulness.  I  wonder how we can help your people where there is such prejudice here to the middle eastern nations. A few bad people have ruined it for all.  Terror attacks have blinded people to the innocent victims caught in the struggle.

I’m afraid that we have forgotten the value of a life.  We have forgotten that every life has worth and meaning. We have failed to get involved.

The Future of Syria-Birth registration and statelessness by UNHCR Photo Download (2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/101268966@No4/11116320723
By Trocaire (2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/trocaire/9365116234

Syria, I have failed you.

I have even failed to call on Heaven to help you.  The bible tells us that we are to love the least of these.  Jesus teaches us in a story to love our neighbors.  To extend mercy and compassion and to meet their needs.  According to Jesus, you are my neighbor and I should be meeting your needs.

I’ve been trying to look and see what I could do now that I am awake.  I have heard stories of churches in Canada welcoming families in and helping them to begin a new life.  I have started to look to see what I can do.  It seems like sponsoring a family isn’t possible in the United States.  The most I can find to do is to come alongside refugees already here.  But that doesn’t help your plight.  I’m not sure how to help.

It’s frustrating.  We have so many resources that you are lacking and there are many who would love to welcome you with cautious arms.  I would be lying to say open arms.  There are many who are scared of the fact that letting you in would invite terrorism.  I have never met anyone from Syria and I don’t know many who have.  I want to think that I could love you and be a friend.  The truth is that I wish there was a way to bring you over here where you could live with some freedom.  But honestly, I can’t be sure that I could love you enough to help as I should.

The Children of Harmanli Face a Bleak Winter by UNHCR Photo Download (2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/101268966@N04/10991909166/
The Future of Syria-Children at Work by UNHCR Download (2013) https://www.flickr.com/photos/101268966@N04/11116134405/

It’s not fair to think you should have to leave your country to have a chance at a life.  I can tell you that you have my attention and you are in my heart as I become more and more aware of your plight.  I will be praying that God would reveal how we can help you more.  Praying that God would bring an end to the wars there and that your people would be able to live in peace.  So many of you have been dislocated and I pray that each one of you would be able to break off the bondages that satan has placed on you and go on to live with a freedom that you have never known.  To come to know Jesus Christ our Risen Lord and to understand that He is the only one who can help you now.  I long to see more and more people becoming aware of your plight and reaching out to help with open arms and open doors.

I want to know how to make a difference in your situation.  Because I have no current ideas on how to get involved I give you my voice.  Forgive me.  Forgive the many of us confessing to be Christians who have been blind to your pain.  Forgive us for being so afraid of terrorism that we have lost the value of a life.  We have lost the value of caring for the least of these.  I’m so sorry.  I’ll be praying for your freedom and the better lives of your many refugees.

Again I am sorry that I have been blind to your struggles.  I am sorry that we have failed you.



One thought on “Letter to Syria

  1. Edward Everett Hale. I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. Edward Everett Hale (3 April 1822 – 10 June 1909)

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