An Open Letter on World Refugee Day

Dear Friend, 

Some may call you by the name "refugee," others "asylum-seeker" and as for me, I wish I knew your real name. 

Today, I remember you and the harsh reality where you find yourself. Today, I want to apologize.

I’m sorry for any time I called you “the other.”

You have a name and a story with it, I’m sure.

 

I’m sorry for using fear as an excuse not to hear your voice.

Because your cries weren’t just drowned out by me, they were drowned out by many.

 

I’m sorry for the times I let one narrative define you.

Because I could have sought the truth and instead settled for the words of someone like me, not someone who knows you.

 

I’m sorry that I ever assumed that you were a certain age, a certain demeanor, a certain ugly stereotype.

You are unique, beautifully and intricately so.

 

I’m sorry for questioning whether you were deserving of safety.

Because you are fully human and fully deserve human rights.

 

I’m sorry for staying silent instead of standing with you.

Because silence screams and instead I spoke freely of careless things.

 

I’m so, so sorry my brother, my sister, because the hands that formed you formed me too. My own false pretenses made you out to be something to be feared. But there is no fear in love.

 

Most of all, I am sorry that I did not love you when I should have.

I am sorry because you are infinitely worthy of love and instead received closed hearts barricaded by fear.

 

 We’ve probably not met face-to-face.

You probably weren’t given the chance.

 

But if we do meet (and I hope we do).

I want to know you–your story, your hopes, your dreams and the quirky things that make you who you are.

 

Because you’re not just a refugee.

That’s your current state and one that I hope you find is temporary.

 

Because we all need “home.”

That safe place where walls come down and we are irrevocably ourselves, quirks and all.

 

You’re not just a refugee, you’re a human with loves and fears, who laughs and cries, who thinks and creates and admires beauty.

 

You probably have songs that make you want to get up and dance.

 

Maybe there’s a food that when you smell it, you remember your favorite meals as a child.

 

You know the streets where you grew up–the shops, the cafes, the smells wafting in the air.

 

You know the voices of those you love and what each tone means.

 

You know the feeling of sunshine on your face and the dark of nightfall.

 

You have stories that form your identity, a different set than me.

 

I want to hear you, I want to hear your stories, I want to grieve with you for that home which you left behind.

 

Because you’re not just a refugee.

 You're fully human and so brave. 

Now, I stand with you.

The Garden

I’ve been thinking a lot about gardening lately. Maybe it’s because I miss watching HGTV–a ritual I haven’t kept since coming to college. Maybe it’s the love I’ve had for The Secret Garden since elementary school. Or maybe it’s memories of my grandpa, affectionately known as “Pal,” who would take me in the emerald wagon across the mossy backyard to his garden–a jungle of pumpkins, peonies and the occasional strawberry patch.

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Hello from the Upland side.

     Hi Friends! Thank you for entering into a little bit of the journey the Lord is leading me on over the next days, weeks, years, and lifetime. I have been blessed with many wonderful memories in my Indiana home. This leg of my adventure is primarily based in the cornfields of Upland as I study and stay up late at Taylor University over the next few years. 

     This site will include the memorable, the mundane, and the messiness of my life in Christ. But I'd like to include a lot of other stories too. The Lord has a way of leading relationships and situations in my life at the perfect time. I'll highlight a few of those people and a few of those moments on this site. 

    Sheldon Vanauken once said:

My prayers are answered. No: a glimpse is not a vision. But to a man on a mountain road by night, a glimpse of the next three feet of road may matter more than a vision of the horizon. And there must perhaps always be just enough lack of demonstrative certainty to make free choice possible: for what could we do but accept if the faith were like the multiplication table?

Oh that I would lack "demonstrative certainty" and in faith, confidently rest secure in Christ's love. 

I am so glad to have you share in these moments and memories with me. 

-Katherine