What is real love? God is love.

What does love look like? It’s described in the Bible.

Here’s one example: “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Over 300,000 immigrants and refugees will come to Canada this year.

They will face difficulty in housing, clothing, groceries, legal identification, finding friends, transportation, language, finances, faith, and on and on. How will you (not the church you attend, I mean you personally) take responsibility to care for and love the foreigners amongst us? For we were not only just foreigners in Egypt (enslaved to sin and oppression as a mindset), but also we were once foreigners to Canada. Whether we are a first or fifth generation immigrant here, most of us have come from “somewhere else” to make a life here. And all of us needed help to become part of this place and make it home.

I grew up in a house that took this very seriously. My mom was an English as a Second/Foreign Language teacher to adults. So she would often bring her students and their families into our homes. Sometimes for tea, sometimes for a cottage weekend, and sometimes- they would live with us. It was completely normal to have a Chinese, Romanian, or Iranian person living in our home for extended periods of time. They became family.

Yet, now as an adult out of my parent’s home for over a decade, I’m challenged to consider how and in what ways I will continue this legacy. I currently live with 2 new immigrants to Canada and it is my joy to show them all things Canadian, and see the strengths and weaknesses of our nation through their eyes. It’s not always easy. There are conflict and misunderstandings in cross-cultural relationships and interfaith friendships.

I am learning to love. Because I see myself in their story and struggles, as I remember I was also welcomed home by a great God who made a home for me in his family.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)