I am not pretending here to be an expert on the situation in Calais. I have not been (yet). I don’t know all the stories, the reasons why people have travelled so far merely to join an ever increasing slum, whether it be economic migrants, refugee’s or those who have been illegally trafficked with the promise of a new life.
But this I do know, the Church has a responsiblity to respond. As of yet it appears, on the face of it, to be doing very little. Surely so close to our shores we cannot just sit idly by. The stirring of God the Holy Spirit within me tells me that’s not right….
My hope is that, in reading this, you have felt the same thing as me. Stirred into action, but feeling utterly helpless as to what to do. It’s not straightforward, sure we can just ‘rock up’ with some ‘stuff’ which would feel like a drop in the ocean, but nevertheless a drop which is better than us simply watching on. (watch this space)
For a moment switch off your politics, switch off the sense of entitlement that comes with being British, and put on a kingdom mindset. Our passport should read Kingdom of God and love should have no border. Certainly the love of God didn’t have borders when it pursued and rescued me in Jesus Christ, who was prepared to lay down his life, so that I could be gifted a new one.
Jesus did not simply watch on and label me “human” but willingly chose to show love, grace and compassion in order to bring about the greatest rescue plan ever for all those who put their faith in Jesus.
Whether we think the migrants/refugee’s ‘deserve’ our care and our love, is by the by, grace calls us into action whether we like it or not. We are called to represent the one whose love has no boundaries (political or otherwise), in this case we can represent him by not only believing the best of these people, but by loving them as Jesus would have us do.
We need to drop the label’s, drop the politics and remember that the people in Calais are people. Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters, Aunties, Uncles….people. All, ultimately, probably trying to do just as we are, make the best of life for ourselves and our families.
What I love about the gospel is that it teaches us clearly that every person is precious to God. In Jesus we see that he stops for the one, blind Bartameaus cries out (Mark 10:46-52), the crowds and the politically correct brigade try to shut him up….but Jesus stops and meets with him. To Jesus- people matter.
The whole person matters to God, physically, emotionally, spiritually, all too often we just pick one area- I would love to see christians on the ground in Calais, providing, love, care, ministry for people, to be giving blankets, sleeping bags, clothing, but also providing love, prayer and encouragement.
“So whats the plan?” I hear you cry….
Well at the moment just a stirring, a burden to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, putting into action the words of Paul from Philippians to not look to our own interests but to the interests of others.
With that in mind- if it’s something you would like to help with (and that can start now by praying) then don’t hesitate to make contact:
Micah 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”