By Renee Pickens
Last month I was involved in the Palm Sunday rally for refugees on the steps of the South Australian Parliament House. It was raining and I had brought the microphone and speaker. Surrounded by other Christians, political groups and refugees themselves I wore the hat of political activist.
Anyone who knows me must think that God has a sense of humour! Only six months earlier I was working in a conservative MPs country electorate office and political activists were the bane of my existence. I was, however, mostly hearing from those concerned with grass cutting along the highways and changes to the Domestic Animals Act. Nothing quite as heavy and engaging as the issue of refugees and asylum seekers - if I had I’m sure I would have referred them to their Federal Member in any case. So for anyone who knows me well, they know that God must have been having a laugh at my expense on that Palm Sunday. But you know what he wasn’t laughing at? The 65.3 million people currently displaced worldwide.
There’s nothing funny about women and children and families and entire communities being forced to seek asylum in foreign lands. There’s nothing funny about greed, religious fanaticism and other evils constantly seeking to feed their own excess and insatiable desire for power. There’s nothing funny about anyone, no matter where they come from, having absolutely no control over their home and where they lay their head. My heart breaks especially for the children whose lives and upbringing will be scarred by trauma, loss, persecution and uncertainty.
I felt helpless standing there in the rain holding a microphone and speaker but I did not feel hopeless, for I serve a God of Restoration, Reconciliation and Peace. God has a plan for good and invites us to be a part of it.
For more information on people seeking refuge and asylum check out our resource pack.