A Hundred Thousand Faces
Fear and love cannot exist in the same space. Love burns fear away like the sunrise melts darkness.
Some time ago, on social media, I entered a conversation about Middle Eastern refugees.
A friend wrote, “If we let these violent men into our country, they will destroy our way of life, they will attack us, they will kill our families.”
“It is not only men who are fleeing the violence in their homelands,” I said, “but also women and children.”
“If even one man is a terrorist, he might destroy you and your family. We cannot let them in.”
“Here is a picture of some refugees,” I said, and I posted a photo of three children standing in the dust of a refugee camp. They are laughing and smiling and flashing the peace sign with their fingers. They are wearing hand me down clothing covered in dust. They are maybe eight years old, or maybe six, and they have walked from their country into this barren field of tents and makeshift homes.
“That’s not fair,” my friend said. “I love children!”
In reply, a picture of two children playing on a cement pipe. They are laughing and seem satisfied with this makeshift playground.
“No more pictures,” he writes. “I can’t bear it.”
A picture of a young boy in a school with a tarp for a wall. Behind him, a beautiful young girl, wearing a head scarf.
“Enough,” he says, “I get it.”
A boy standing beside the sea, a floatation device around his waist.
A girl wrapped in a blanket, her dark hair ratted, her face smudged, her eyes hollow.
Two children playing soccer with taped up newspaper.
A child in a red jacket, curled beneath a tree on the side of the street.
A mother holding an infant. Tears trek down her face in a journey that might never end.
“You win!” he says. “You win! Bring the children in!”
In response, more pictures.
A hundred thousand faces, staring back at us through the blue light of our computer screens.