Winsome Words 9/30,2015

He might have reared a palace at a word,
Who sometimes had not where to lay his head:
Time was, and He who nourished crowds with bread
Would not one meal unto Himself afford:
Twelve legions girded with angelic sword
Were at his beck, the scorned and buffeted:
He healed another’s scratch, his own side bled,
Side, feet, and hands, with cruel piercings gored.
Oh wonderful the wonders left undone!
And scarce less wonderful than those He wrought;
Oh self-restraint, passing all human thought,
To have all power, and be as having none;
Oh self-denying Love, which felt alone
For needs of others, never for its own!
… Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886)

The Cost of the Conscience of the West

Just trying to get some statistics down about the refugee/immigration crisis fixed in my mind so I keep in touch with scale of this thing. It is huge. HUGE. 10 to 12 million Syrians displaced or who have left. That’s 1/2 of Syria. At least 7 factions fighting in Syria. Hundreds of thousands trying to push into Europe. Destabilizing of smaller countries on horizon.

Refugee camps are centers of immense indignities, not to mention what can turn into a lost generation of children who should be in school and who will grow up without seeing parents gainfully employed. Young teenagers without opportunities and schooling and vulnerable to raging natural and biological drives. Eastern Europe without skill sets in assimilation or money. EU policies that are not in any way ready for a flood of new peoples or ready ways to employ. Huge numbers will not be able to self-support for years and years to come. The only way to sustain these numbers is by state-support while native populations will resent the growing taxation and workload imposed on them. Refugees and migrants will become scapegoats for societal pressures irrespective of the character of the new settlers. Productive economic lives are just too far away in the future for them.

Western Europe will take these people somehow but the process will be so slow and cumbersome that new social forces will flow into the host countries with gale force winds. It’s not going to be pretty. Some stable moral leaders had better emerge or Europe itself will destabilize politically. Russia, Iran, and China win something in this deal. They are not burdened with the conscience of the West. But looking at the West’s decisions as to the Middle East, I am not so sure conscience is the right word to use. My heart is pressed to God.