It’s day 24 of the A-Z Challenge! Only 2 days to go! Thank you Lord! 😀
Thanks for the topic choice by Chile. It looked a little tough for me as I hate to delve into political issues or racism and the like. But then I saw the Greek translation of the word which is a ‘fear of strangers or foreigners’. Webster’s dictionary also defines xenophobia as the fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners. If I were to look at this politically, I would probably examine countries which are hostile to foreigners partly because they feel the foreigners are there to take what rightfully belongs to the indigenous people. Now that’s a whole web I rather not dive into.
So what do you think of strangers generally? Imagine you’re walking on a deserted street and some random dude starts walking towards you. Do you wait and indulge in a conversation or do you pick your steps and scurry along? I don’t know if it’s just me, but I would scurry along. All I would be hearing in my head is ‘stranger danger!’
I fear strangers. Come on! I’ve seen too many movies of people being kidnapped in white vans to get past that possibility. I would not likely stop at the call of a stranger while walking down the road.
But let’s get back to context. What’s it about foreigners even in our individual none ‘xenophobic’ countries? Why do we give them ‘the look’?
Yeah, I know you’ve given that look before when you see some foreigner. Like dude, why is your skin so white? Or why are you so short? Or why are you so black? Why is your hair so coarse?
Do you consider yourself as one who would make friends first with the new exchange student in class? Or would you rather guard your territory and stick to the faces you’re used to?
It’s almost safe to say we would react differently when it comes to strangers. We may not be hostile as in the case of xenophobic countries but a part of us will feel slightly cheated if that foreigner begins to take the first position or maybe gain a political office meant only for the indigenes.
So what’s the remedy?
Love conquers all and perfect love casts out fear.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. -1 John 4:18
The fear of strangers is definitely not of God and we sure need love to get past it! So the next time you’re privileged to be in the same class with an exchange student or work alongside someone of a different nationality, instead of being overcome by xenophobia, overcome the fear with love.
Love your neighbours as yourself; Remember that dude in the Bible who asked Jesus who his neighbour was? Yeah, so Jesus told him a story of someone who was robbed and left wounded on the road and some pious men passed but looked away. And this foreigner came along and helped him. (Luke 10:25-37)
You never know when you’ll be in need of help and they may just be the only ones who can help you at that point. Accept the foreigners around you and treat them well. Be kind to them.
I know my thoughts are slightly all over the place but I just want you to take this with you; perfect love casts out fear. And perfect love casts out xenophobia. Love a stranger/foreigner and be kind towards them.
God bless you for reading!
Lots of love,