Why #WeWelcomeRefugees and Writing Stories Matter

So when I see the pictures all over the internet of children losing their lives to the world’s deadliest border crossing and Germans holding signs welcoming the Syrian refugees (why is they don’t fear the terrorism the U.S. does?), I wonder if how I’m spending my time matters.

Writing stories. That’s what I do a lot of these days. Penning (really, typing) words from head to page. Lots of editing for myself and others. Studying structure and theme and deep point of view and just hoping and praying that I’m not wasting my time or my talent.

Well, I do all that and I shuttle four kids around and do the school thing and the physical therapy thing and the how-can-we-need-more-groceries thing. You know, the mom thing. Which matters for sure because the ones I’m raising up here, hopefully they’ll help make this world a better place where images of drowned two year olds don’t exist.

We can only imagine. And pray. And hope.

The other day one of my fellow editors from Splickety Publishing Group sent me a story to look over. She wrote it for a contest and needed some quick feedback.

A short piece about a little Serbian girl, her father, and her grandmother and their heart wrenching choice to leave the only home they’ve ever known.

You see, there’s news stories. Then there’s human stories. That’s what I do. What my friend does. What so many aspiring fiction writers do–we make the news, the it-could-never-happen-here, the big, bad world–we make that human.

We give it characters with names and backstory and empathetic qualities. We strive to show the beautiful and the ugly, to give you an enemy to slay and a hero to trust. We give a you a place of escape, and then, when you re-emerge from a story’s world, we hope you see yours with fresh, new eyes.

With eyes that cannot turn from the ways you can help, can change, can make a difference.

That’s why I’m writing. Because God’s gift to me is words–and I’m passing those along to you. Then when I’m done pouring my heart onto a screen or scratched across the surface of a journal, I’m rolling up my sleeves and ready to do even more.

To pack a box full of sweatpants I cleaned out of my kids over abundance of stores clothes.

To pray daily for those who face the hard decisions–the migrants and the politicians and the police caught in the middle.

To challenge you to understand, from here in your own place of comfort and turmoil, that this refugee crisis is rocking our world and we can choose to welcome or we can choose to ignore.

But either way, this is not just a story. In this world, there will never be an end of hatred and greed and persecution. But there can be a new chapter.

There can be a new beginning.

For more resources on how to support the world’s worst refugee crisis since World War II, I recommend:

We Welcome Refugees Official Site
Ann Voskamp’s Plea to the Church
What You Need to Know about the Syrian Crisis
How an American Millionaire is Saving Them from Drowningthis was the first time I ever heard about the Mediterranean Sea as a border crossing. There was an article about this man in Joshua’s Bloomberg Business Weekly. It’s haunted me for months.
Because We Can’t Do Nothing, Practical Ways to Help the Refugee Crisis (and get a great t-shirt, too)

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