World Refugee Day, June 20

Today is World Refugee Day, a commemoration of the United Nations since 1976. It has many themes, often a call to compassion for refugees (and I put before you a petition asking governments to: Ensure every refugee child gets an education. Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live. Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community. Here is the link
But this year the theme is to celebrate the courage, strength and resiliency of refugees. Celebrate – not feel sorry for — I have worked with many refugees and they always teach me how to live my life, how to meet my challenges, which often seem so small compared to theirs. I wrote this prayer for the international experiment in doing church online on Facebook — CASA, this morning but repeat it here to invite everyone to this celebration. For celebrating refugees shapes my morning prayer. 

God, help me today to be like a refugee –
willing to begin again in whatever way I need,
willing to protect not just my children,
but the children on the boat with me –
(I guess that means all children)
willing to learn someone else’s language,
willing to explain my customs
and explain them again,
willing to embarrass myself by asking many times
for something to be explained
(and embarrass teenagers
trying to pretend they don’t know me)
willing to work below my competency
and never complain about the job.

God, let me remember the songs and stories
that I come from,
make beautiful the tent of my sojourning,
walk weary but non undone
the journey of my life,
share happiness with everyone I meet. Amen.

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