"Crying For...": A poem for Christians about our hearts toward people from other places

"Crying For...", by Jarrett Meek

Rain falls like tears from heaven, crying for the pain of millions whom God loves and are created in His image.

Living to the South, cycles of poverty perpetuate, the stench of government corruption poisons progress, violence devastates viability, work and wages wither.

On mission trips we say, “wow, they are so happy in their simple life.” But, in believing so we minimize their strife.

We choose to view their suffering as a blessing while knowing inside that we could never live like that. We somehow see ourselves as different, and this blinds us to their plight and stops us short of action.

They’re now our neighbors, trying to escape what we could never bear. They’ve left children and wives, they’ve risked their lives to make a future for them and to leave despair.

We’re angry. We say “go back”. We look at them with disdain and demonstrate the compassion we lack. “What’s ours is ours” we feel justified in declaring, “we’re blessed by God and we don’t like sharing.”

“Wait in line”, “follow the rules”, “learn our language” we shout, not realizing or caring that our laws have shut them out. If you’re a doctor, welcome in or if your family member is a citizen. If not you can try your luck, win the lottery or you’re simply stuck.

“It’s economics”, we say as our hoarding hearts betray the fact that we were not sincere when in their land we shed a tear for the blessings that destroy and the poverty they enjoy.

Politics and Christianity now mixed make it hard to draw the line between secular and divine. Complexities build a web of confusion in our minds. How does Christian thought and action address the situation and distress?

“Obey the law”, some say, is the rule that wins the day. Not to slight this right command, but what about us who were born in this land? Does not the Lord this law decree, that love our neighbor is priority? What’s OUR response to our neighbor’s pain? How about mercy, not disdain!

Of course they’re sinners, as are we, we need the truth to set us free. The greatest commandment cannot be ignored, and without the gospel we can’t be restored. It’s the mission field you see, coming here to you and me.

Let us not in blindness miss the hypocrisy of all of this, to visit them in their land and say “Jesus loves” on one day, and then the next when they move in on our block to say “go home!” and bolt the lock.

The rain again is falling down, God crying for us Christians now. Not for suffering or for pain, but for missing the point, an ugly stain. Let us repent and turn around, God change our hearts renew us now, give us compassion and hearts of grace. Help us not to turn our face from you or those who need to taste the news of Christ his saving love and skies that clear from clouds above.