The number is 300,000

While our shallow “journalistic” coverage, only driven by our shallow American desire for, well, all things American and culturally relevant to us… and can really stir up controversy on social media… fixates on one county in Kentucky, the story we refuse to pay attention to, among so many, is the immigrant crisis in Europe.

As we allow the man with the hair problem wax elephants on “immigration” by saying, well, absolutely nothing, we are missing the larger story of a true immigration crisis. Because it is currently in Europe, we ignore it and it will be to our own detriment. We can’t connect dots very well. But that’s an easy call since the numbers of “journalists” in one county in Kentucky now probably outnumbers the actual population of the county.

300,000 is the number. That is how many immigrants have flowed into Europe so far this year. It is a 40 percent increase over ALL of last year. And it’s the first week in September.

If you want one number to explain the mass movement today, start with 60 million. The U.N. says there are 60 million people displaced worldwide — the most since the U.N. started keeping records and the most since World War II.

We are facing a worldwide crisis that we somehow can’t find the time to cover in the United States. ISIS has displaced 3 million, while millions more flee other Middle East and North African conflicts and repressive regimes.

2500 have lost their lives trying to get to freedom. Now millions are stuck in areas because Europe doesn’t know what to do, and smugglers are profiting off of people desperate to make it anywhere safe.

The numbers don’t mean anything, do they?

300,000

2500

Blah, blah, blah.

How about this number: ONE

One picture. A picture of a little boy’s body washed up on a shore. A picture that finally got out and around the world and made us stop for an oh so brief moment and possibly get a tear in our eye.

Five years old. Him, his brother, his mother all lost to the sea and their bodies washed up as they tried to find freedom.

The number is not 300,000. The number is ONE. One picture can turn things around. The question is this: will you let it?

Will you let a picture haunt your soul. Really. I mean it. HAUNT you.

It haunts me. I’ve had times when I couldn’t stop crying thinking of that picture. That boy. The father weeping on TV.

And I think, “What am I doing? What is MY life that I just go on about my business?”

But we all have lives to live. It’s not necessarily about dropping everything and going to Syria. For some, that may be the answer.

Yet, I am drawn again to that number: ONE.

300,000 I get blown away by. ONE. That can mean something.

So… what do I do? Drop everything and find a way to Syria? To Turkey? To France?

No. I’ve asked. I have honestly asked. And the answer is this: “Find the ONE where you are where you can invest in their life and their spiritual body doesn’t end up washed up on some spiritual shore.”

Invest in one.

For me, it’s getting involved in mentoring. I’m pumped for it. I had a kid last year I absolutely loved being with week after week. I long for that again.

ONE. The number is ONE. Right where you are.

Will you do THAT?

The intolerance of “tolerance”

Europe is becoming a “NO GOD” zone.

I am not advocating for our American version of “wearing your faith on your sleeve”… or bumper sticker… or T Shirt.

I have been advocating for simple awareness in our lives as believers that we truly need to function in a different way than before. We need to learn what it is to be the “minority report.” We need the prophetic voice of Christianity… the prophetic lifestyle of Christianity… once again.

It is interesting, as always, that while secularists lash out against “religious extremism” and deem themselves “tolerant,” this article points out it is the secularists driving this movement. Even moderate religious people can’t be tolerated in their world.

How much longer will believers dare to stand up and be counted? Soon Europe, even London, the much-vaunted bastion of multiculturalism, will become No God Zones, banning any public display of religiosity. ‘For your own good’, the authorities will tell their pious citizens, “you must carry out your ancient rituals in secret. We cannot vouch for your safety otherwise.” Believers will have to hide their precious religious symbols, and conceal their rites. Like the early Christians in the catacombs, they will lead lives in the shadow.

People were on the “I am Charlie” bandwagon, when the “newspaper” declared they didn’t want religious people mourning their loss. They didn’t want the bells of Notre Dame ringing as a sign of mourning.

We need to walk with Christ. We don’t walk with Christ because it is easy. We don’t walk with Christ because it is favorable. We walk with Christ because he bid us come and follow and we obeyed. We need that fundamental understanding in our lives again. It is about allegiance. This world should not understand our true allegiance to the Kingdom of God. It does not make sense to them. Our trouble is that as Western Christians we haven’t understood allegiance, either. We’ve lived under assumptions that simply don’t hold up any more.

Jesus walked with the realization of what was truly in the hearts of many people. We need that realization to sober us up from time to time.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)