Recently my friend walked 500 miles to the blessed site. While her blisters are visible testimony to the arduousness of her journey, it is her smile that speaks to her inner transformation.
We may not be as adventuresome as my friend or as strong (certainly I am not), but whether we embark on a physical or interior journey, we travel. And, similar to the hikers on the Camino, it can take months and perhaps years for us to reach that which we seek. Our paths may be quite different from one another, but we share common hopes for peace, meaning, or love; and, it is these ideals that draw us together—and remind us that we are family.
Last night I watched a short documentary of a journey of a different kind—a Syrian refugee family (a young couple with two little children). Their 1,500-mile trek to Germany, through unimaginable obstacles, left me speechless. And, to my amazement, there was no anger when they spoke with the journalist; there was only hope—for their children and for their future life.
Their journey, shared by thousands, weighs heavily on my heart. I see my children in them; how could I not?
Like most I have concerns about our collective well-being. And, like most, I want to help those victimized by circumstance and war. John F. Kennedy said: “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.” If we are a global family, then it follows that we help one another. But how?
The battlefield is the domain of our military, and I trust in and am grateful for their dedication, skill and intelligence. But, the refugees, the scorned victims of fanaticism, aren’t they our responsibility? Who doesn’t relate to their desolation, their fear? Who doesn’t want to give a starving child food?
As family, we are stretched and pulled across the war-torn terrain of our beautiful planet. Though we civilians cannot eradicate terrorism, we can at least love and care for its victims through one of the numerous faith-based and charitable organizations focused on their needs.
Jimmy Carter’s haunting reminder is particularly apropos:
"Each of us must rededicate ourselves to serving the common good. We are a community. Our individual fates are linked; our futures intertwined; and if we act in that knowledge and in that spirit together, as the Bible says: "We can move mountains.""