It is not a comfortable experience being a foreigner. In fact for many, the thought of being classed as a foreigner in another culture keeps people happily and comfortably cocooned in their own worlds. I completely understand this preference. It is not easy to stand out from the crowd, going against the current. Living twenty-five years in France, I learned how to blend in to the culture and lifestyle. However, early in our marriage we spent a summer in Taiwan. There was no chance of blending in there. I was constantly regarded as the foreigner and I had to deal with it! I was orange and everyone else was blue!
Our verse for today reveals the loving heart of the Lord. He is especially attentive to the needs of the orphans and widows. But in addition to that care, He has a special place in His heart reserved for the foreigner and his hapless predicament. I wonder if it was because His Son would one day descend from Heaven and be Himself a foreigner on earth!
The Lord shows special love to the lost, lonely and displaced person. The foreigner is often in a humbled position having to depend on the kindness of others in his host country. Not only does God offer His love and help, but the context urges us to do the same (verse 19). Those who have been foreigners themselves can have a special empathy, having experienced this turmoil personally.
I have the privilege of reaching out with God’s love to the foreigner residing among us. Help me Lord, to have the same heart for him as You do.