I could have cried yesterday when I went to the Worship Lunch at the chapel. I never actually participate in eating with the ladies as they always have soup and bread, then pudding and custard, and I prepare the food, serve it and wash up, since I can't eat any of the food.......but I always say the grace before they eat.
Yesterday I thanked God for food, fellowship and friends, as I usually do, but then I asked them to think of others, of families desperate to reach safety and of children washed up on foreign shores.
I said the "Amen" and walked back into the kitchen. I could overhear the conversation at the table, and the eight older ladies were using words which really broke my heart there: "too many foreigners here already", Enoch Powell was mentioned in a favourable light, and the conversation went on for a little while about how immigrants would take "our" jobs and benefits.
I was angry and did not know how to respond, and remembered that I was in church.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that we have generations of British people who just don't consider what kind of a nation we are - we've been having other folks come here for hundreds of years, from the Romans, the Vikings and the Saxons for example, right through to people from former Empire countries and EU member states.
There is a huge difference as well between an immigrant, who comes to seek a better kind of a life, and a refugee, who comes seeking Life itself.
And every one of the refugees who comes seeking Life should be given a chance to have it, not to lose it in a boat in the Mediterranean or in the back of a lorry in Austria. These are not people looking to be able to claim benefits and an easier life - these are human beings, like us, with families and friends and life stories, who are looking for a way to just stay alive.
Seems to me that as much as we need to pray for people who are seeking life, we need to pray for attitudes to change across the world.