Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Trouble on Every Side



Dear refugee woman,

I see you there, struggling with your children, wondering what might be next.

You weren’t Muslim enough for the extremists in your country.  Or you refused to become Muslim and instead were threatened with your very life and the lives of your children.

You’ve probably already lost your husband.  And if you haven’t you are afraid for his life, too.

You’ve been bombed by those fighting the extremists in your country.  Your home and your homeland is in shambles.

I see the worry in your face.  Every line earned.

You’ve seen and experienced violence the likes of which my privileged, white, self has never even had nightmares to rival.

You had no choice but flee.  Flee the problem. Flee the arrogant supposed solution to it.

Run for your life.  Run for your children’s lives.

Run to where?  Nowhere.  No job, no home, no money.  Run away from terror into horror.

I’m sorry for your luck, really.  Through no fault of your own you look like them.  Whoever them is.  You have the wrong color skin.  You wear the wrong garments.  We can’t help you.

To hell with you.  We’re closing the door in your face.

I see you, but you are on your own.  I will turn my head pretend that my country and others have no blood on their hands.  I will pretend that we had no hand in empowering those who seek to do you harm. Your plight is not my problem.

I see you there, with your trouble on every side.  You might just bring your trouble to me.  I will close my eyes and hope it turns out alright for you.

I’m praying for you, nonetheless. I hope you find Jesus before it’s too late.

Warmest regards,

The United States of America


I am sad to see our country closing it’s borders to those in need. I have no idea how to help in any tangible and meaningful way.

If you want to help, even in a small way, please consider giving to one of these organizations:


The UN Refugee Agency

The Red Cross

Refugee International

Amnesty International

32 thoughts on “Trouble on Every Side

  1. You know I agree. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for helping me to see the very human face of this issue. We are divided as a country. One side thinks we do not have the resources to help, they are potential terrorists, or we should help our citizens in need first. The other side sees the worry in the women’s faces, the dirty, sad children, and the humanity in it all. With that said, I see individuals in pain, in shambles, living on our streets that our country is ignoring. I can see why some think that it is almost a slap in the face to the people who are not being supported by our country. I also see how, as fellow humans, we need to help these people. I am still divided. Regardless, this was absolutely beautiful and sad. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comment.

      I know that people are divided. You know the thing that I find so very sad, and I’ve said this before in other posts, is that we are one of, if not the, wealthiest nation in the world. We can help our citizens in need and the refugees of this world. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. We just don’t want to.

      Tax me? Hell no! Don’t force me to help someone! I realize there has to be a balance to all of this but we have enough resources in this country to do all of these things.

      I agree with you that some see it as a slap in the face of citizens. I agree with you that we need to help veterans and the needy here. I think we can do both. Maybe that makes me a bleeding heart liberal. So be it. I think it makes me a humanist Humanist. But I think it’s a shame that we have people living on the streets when we have the means and the capacity to do better.

      Is this who we are as a nation? My sincere hope is that compassion and love will trump our fear.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Unfortunately, your Republicans are making your country look terrible.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ruth, here’s what many Texans do or talk about doing… 😦


    Yes, sadly most of my home state and other parts of the U.S. want to retaliate as a “religious right” not just a moral right. They LAUGH at the idea of taking in refugees. But why hasn’t 4 or 5,000 years of cyclical human atrocities taught civilized “educated” nations — like us — that the problem is not a religious one, it is psychologically deluded extremists exhibiting the classic 5 common forms of extreme fundamentalism pathology:
    1. Dualism (good vs evil)
    2. Paranoia & rage
    3. Apocalyptic hopes of transformation started by them
    4. Charismatic leadership (overt arrogance)
    5. Totalized conversion or world conversion

    How many examples of this can we name throughout all human history?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right, and extremism also isn’t exclusive to the religious, though they do comprise the majority of them. But look at China and North Korea where indoctrination is a way of life and they are constantly criticized for their human rights practices.

      Harmful ideologies are not exclusive to religions. I was listening to a news spot this morning where they were talking about the fact that most of these are thugs to begin with – not particularly religious. They are criminals and their ideals are radical already. They are radicalized before they are Islamicized rather than the other way around. Islam(and various other religions) support there radicalism and reinforce it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done Ruth.
    Fear is a bad thing. People become irrational too easily. If they reasoned in this same way, maybe they would not sell guns, every buyer is a potential mass shooter

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Apologies. Your post is SPOT ON right and reminds us how to be human! Very well written Ruth. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful piece written by a lovely spirit. I admire you so very much (and am jealous too of how well you express things).

    And am so very sad as I view the events of the world. Just today candidate Ben Carson likened the refugees to rabid dogs. Sometimes what you say about others really says more about you than it does about them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a beautiful thing to say. Thank you, exrelayman!

      I’ve been sickened by the number of comments I’ve seen calling the refugees our enemies. As though they are all evil. smh…


    • What is really sad is that Ben Carson’s view will play well to his core constituency.

      The irony is that it is the liberal Christians (so detested by the fundamentalists) who are the ones who try to put into practice the teaching of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Those who claim to be most committed to the Bible act more like the characters in the parable who avoided helping the stranger in need.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know if you read the replies to makagutu above, but yes, it is really sad that his comments will resonate with his constituents. For people who are supposedly not to worry or fear they sure are afraid of a lot of things.

        “Those who claim to be most committed to the Bible act more like the characters in the parable who avoided helping the stranger in need.”

        Bad ol’ Pharisees…


  8. Pingback: Hypocritical Excuses | Mere Atheism

  9. You express yourself and your frustration so beautifully here Ruth. Thank you for writing this.


  10. There was a meme on FB that reminded us we were once refugees ourselves …


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