It may come as a shock to some, but we don't choose where we are born. We have absolutely no control over who our parents are, what language we are taught to speak, what culture we are brought up in or the colour of our skin. As a Christian, it is a firm conviction of mine that God did know these things, but that is still out of our control. However what isn't out of our control is where we may decide to raise a family, settle ourselves and make a life for ourselves.
David Cameron recently described the human beings at Calais, who happened to not be born in Britain, 'a swarm'. This could of course been just a sloppy use of language however one thinks for such a polished PM this is not the case. This was a deliberate use of language to pander to the right-wing maniacs in his party and UKIP. This language brings to mind the image of insects or horrible swarms that destroy civilisations, even like the swarms of locusts in the Plagues story of Moses and the Israelite people.
One thing that people seem to forget is that we are all human. We are not valuable because of what we can do or what we can provide to others, we are inherently valuable because we are. By the very fact that we are alive and human, we have dignity and intrinsic worth.
If your family were threatened, our livelihood taken away from you, your freedoms inhibited, would you not try to get your family to somewhere safe? Somewhere where you can live freely and provide for them? To many Britain does seem like the Promised Land and in many ways it is. It is a place where you can go about your lawful business without being hassled by the state, it's a place where you can worship the God you want to without being persecuted, it is a place where people are viewed as people and treated as such. OF course it's not perfect, we have a Tory govt. for a start! But we are blessed in more ways than many in this world.
We should celebrate the diversity within our communities, which broadens our understanding of our humanity, teaches us new things and helps us to become more tolerant and respectful of others.
We are all created in the image of God, no matter where we come from. We are all human and deserve to be treated as such.