I Only See People

The news is flashing images of Syrian refugees seeking a safe haven from their war-ridden homeland and all my eyes can see are people.

Humans. Parents. Children. Families.

Through my television screen, my eyes can see the fear and sadness and confusion that the refugees carry with them. Occasionally their eyes will look toward the sky and I’ll catch a glimpse of hope… But mostly, just fear. Fear that is so justified and fair.

What is it that you think they see when they look back at us?

They, too, see fear. And sadness. And confusion. Occasionally they may see hope – but mostly, they see just fear. Mostly unjustified, mostly unfair fear.

So different yet so much the same.

I don’t see terrorists.
I don’t see danger.
I only see people.

I see toddlers being carried on their weary parents backs. Toddlers who should be running and playing – not running for their lives.

I see babies held in tired arms, who should be snuggled safe and warm in the comfort of their own nurseries… Not in the arms of frightened parents who have nowhere to set them down.

I see kids carrying belongings when they should be carrying books for school- instead the weight of this ugly world.

I see children… No different than my own, who deserve so much more than what this world has handed them. Those could be MY babies.

I see PEOPLE. Parents with hearts beating wildly in their chests; dreaming big dreams for their children, just like I do for my own. Friends who are missing coffee dates and holidays and birthdays. Shop owners and homemakers. Laborers and performers. Worshippers and athletes.

Do I see their scarves and garb?


Just like they see the dangling silver cross on my necklace and my torn blue jeans.

Do I understand what they are saying?

Not a word.

Much like I must sound to them when I’m in a conversation with someone who speaks my own language.

But I also see their tears.
I see them as they pray:
their heartfelt embraces and their saddened smiles.
I see their hands wipe away tears from little eyes and their sweet momma-kisses cure little boo-boos… Kissing away nightmares and scary thoughts.

I haven’t seen the bombs they’ve seen and I haven’t heard the screams they’ve screamed. But When I look at these refugees fleeing for their lives… for their safety… for a better tomorrow: I see what matters most. I see what makes them much like me, so very much like me: I see the blood in their veins and the fear in their hearts. I can hear songs of their souls and feel the promise in their dreams. I only see people; living, breathing, worthy people.

I’ve only seen the war they know through the eyes of a twisted and corrupt media. I don’t have the facts. I don’t know the real story. I only have my eyes relaying messages to my heart…

My heart can’t ignore this message:

That the borders we speak of are only imaginary lines drawn on paper maps by man. They are not real. The only real borders in this universe exist between Earth and Heaven; and Earth and Hell.

If we want Hell to stop continually breaching the borders of this precious Earth, we must close our fearful eyes and only see with our hearts. See the children. The parents. The friends. The people… See what this world has done to them.

You may not feel so inclined to open your imaginary borders to offer them refuge from an ugly war; as one simple lapse in judgement – or act of compassion – could turn us into refugees ourselves… but at the very least include them in your heartfelt prayers. Be the compassion that seems to have fled this barren world. Hurt for them. Hope for them. Believe in a better tomorrow for them AND for us. After all, we all share the same tomorrow… Let’s make it better than today.


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