I cannot remember a day in my life where I have gone hungry for a single meal because I did not have food. I vividly remember some days in college when I was really close to being forced to skip a meal, and I felt so relieved when some caring people gave me some money to help me through. Most of these refugees are much more than just hungry. They had homes, jobs, and adequate clothing and food. They were people who contributed largely to the society in which they lived. Now, there are stories of 15-20 family members in a one room apartment with just their clothes on their back and no prospects of improvement. When people experience that kind of loss, they find themselves in a dark cave of desperation. Some actions that previously seemed abhorrent to them become better than the evils that have burrowed into their souls - changing the life they once knew.
What are normal upstanding citizens capable of when they are stripped of all power and control in their lives? Are any of us inclined to be honorable? To treat others with respect? To love and give in spite of our own circumstances? Would we treat others as we want to be treated? Or might we be tempted to strip a potentially vulnerable woman of her purse in order to provide for our own families? These circumstances expose what is truly in the heart of every man. While anger at the offense committed and desire for justice are right reactions, there must be compassion for the ones who offend us. After all, we are supposed to love our enemies. We are then able to see the “refugees” as persons with dignity, family, favorite foods, and childhood memories. When we see those who wrong us in this way, it is only then that we are able to help.
When you cut a tree down in the forest, its timber. When you cut a tree down in the desert, its destruction.