Frequently I tune into the local Christian radio station on my way to or from work. That might surprise some people. I'll just say I don't do it expecting inspiration or encouragement but today I was surprised. I caught a conversation that was both encouraging and inspiring. It was a conversation about the Syrian Refugee issue.
The host described our country's conflict - pitting security against compassion and encouraged listeners on both sides of the argument to frame the issue differently. What followed was a wonderful dialogue with guests that caused me to pause and really listen. It was a message of hope and reconciliation speaking to both sides of this issue. It spoke to me and I'm happy to try to share.
Those of us speaking about compassion need to acknowledge the very real and legitimate security concerns. And those concerned about the security issue need to acknowledge the very real and legitimate needs of the refugees. First and foremost, we need to acknowledge each others' concern.
What followed on this show were several guests who then did just that.
The security concerned person acknowledged that she had not known how much scrutiny was in place and how long the process was for a refugee. At the end of last week, I realized that most people - even Congress - are apparently unaware of the process. The bill passed last week by the House of Representatives seemed to me to mirror the process already in place. In reading the news reports about the bill, I felt encouraged. To me, it looks like a way to help the country accept refugees with assurance of the highest scrutiny.
The discussion I heard from an unexpected source gives me hope. Let's not pit security against compassion. Let's acknowledge the need for both. I believe we can. I believe we should.