The Refugee, My Brother

We wanted to share with you this reflection recently written by our Volunteer and Outreach Specialist, Melody Ward.

One day in the reception area of the Minnesota Church Center, where we have our office, I saw a man out of the corner of my eye who looked just like my brother. Now, I LOVE my brother; I had to do a double-take! He wasn’t my brother. He was one of our Former Soviet Union refugee arrivals talking with his case manager. At that moment a living truth came alive in me—this wasn’t my biological brother but this still was my brother!

A refugee, whether from the Former Soviet Union, Burma, Somalia, Congo, Iraq, or Afghanistan, is our brother and sister. They are you and me speaking a different language, maybe wrapped in a different skin color, and they have come home to us through violence, terrifying displacement, and incredible bravery.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of sharing our educational presentation “Refugee 101” with the members of a church in South Minneapolis. The “Sending” responsive reading at the end of the service spoke to my heart. I want to share it with you:

“Let us remember that we are created in God’s image.
Let us remember that all people are created in God’s image.
As we go forth, may we see God in the faces of others.
May we find God in those faces where we least expect to see God.
May our hearts be open to all God’s people.
Recognizing God in the face of others, call us to serve. Amen.”
Adapted from Faith Practices, Giving and Receiving Hospitality

The refugee is our brother or sister, created in the image of God. Where we want to be welcomed, we must welcome our brother and sister. Where we want justice, we must offer justice to and stand for justice with our brother and sister. Let us be BOLD in our protective love of our family, those created in the image of God.

Refugees don’t need us to rescue them. They need us to honor them—to see their humanity, their skills, and their potential—to see God in their faces and open our hearts to them. Honor your brother and sister today by calling your local representative to voice your support of refugee resettlement. You can find who your local representatives are and their phone numbers here.

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