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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Givens

Why Does No One Want Us?

“I am not wanted.” How could anyone believe that about himself or his family? That’s a reasonable question to ask. After all, most of us have people surrounding us that love us deeply, that will pick us up if we fall.

For those who are in exile in Calais, “I am not wanted” may seem like a true statement. The local government is overtly trying to make them go away; the local French nationals want nothing to do with them; and they are constantly berated, threatened, and denied access to basic goods and services. They are denied their dignity from seemingly all sides.

Yet that is not the whole story. The truth is, those in exile are wanted. They are wanted and loved deeply. They are wanted by the One who was an Exile himself, the One who left his home in heaven and chose to take a human form among the broken, thereby choosing the life of an exile among people who wanted nothing to do with him. I’m speaking of course of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I wonder if any of those in Calais, exiled or not, have considered the stark parallels that exist between the story of those in exile and that of Jesus. In fact, Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). The truth is, Jesus understands what it means to be exiled, and to have nowhere to call home, to be unwanted, and to be persecuted.

Of course, many of those in exile in Calais do call Jesus Lord. Yet even some of those who say they are also Jesus-followers do not want the exiled among them. But Jesus wants them. He loves them and calls all people to love them the way that he does. Perhaps those in exile in Calais understand the story of Jesus better than those who have always had a safe and loving place to call home.

“Why does nobody want us.” That is the question they ask themselves. But Jesus wants them. Jesus understands their story and he wants us who call him our Lord to love them in the way that he does, to enter into their story and to show them the truth, that they are wanted.

Rachel, the boys, and I will be willingly exiling ourselves from our home, becoming strangers in a strange land, to show the exiled that Jesus loves them and wants them. Admitedly, we will have access to many things that they do not, food, shelter, friends. Most of all, we have our Western identity, which automatically makes us more acceptable to those in Calais than those who have travelled across Europe from diverse places to seek shelter.

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