It Will Be Chaos


We Control How We React to Refugees And Others

by Eric Elkin

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
— Ephesians 4:1ff

HBO recently released a documentary titled, “It Will Be Chaos.” The film is the work of Italian filmmakers Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo, whose country is enduring the large-scale impact of dealing with refugees. The documentary shares the harrowing tales of families seeking to flee starvation, persecution, and bloodshed for security.

As the title suggests, the journey to safety is one of chaos. Children are separated from parents when they reach the “safe” side of the border. The action causes widespread panic among the parents, who frantically search for answers. "Please, find our children," they plead. The words, though, are lost in translation. Few at the border speak their language.

The film is set in Europe and was filmed before the outrage in the United States about children being separated from parents on the U.S.-Mexican border. It does, however, show the problem is not new, it is universal, and it is devastating to parents. How can parents who’ve endured so much be gentle, humble, and patient in these circumstances?

I have not seen the show, only read an article about it from the Los Angeles Times newspaper. The struggle to navigate the difficulties of escaping a war-torn nation is only part of the story. Once these refugees arrive, there is the process of accounting for them. Then to set them up with a living situation.  No home is safe, though, as the influx of immigrants causes problems with residents and nationals. 

The panicked parents are frantic as they plead with authorities through an interpreter: How could this happen?! Please, please find our kids! They are 10, 8 and 7 years old. Oh, my God. How?
— Excerpt from Article on "It Will Be Chaos," by Lorraine Ali

Chaotic situations cause people to act frantically and aggressively. However, those in more secure circumstances can choose how to respond. They can be gentle, humble, patient and bear each other in love. 

The human crisis impacting the entire globe is a complex problem to solve. Peace needs to be restored in areas devastated by conflict. Healthy procedures must be created to process families. Host nations need to figure out ways to handle the situation. The list of problems to solve is endless and beyond any one person’s control. 

In the midst of this chaos, we need to be reminded of our response. How we, who live in safety, react personally is still within our control.

The Times article shared a story of a family divided at the border highlighted in the film. The family ends up being reunited. Unlike other families who were separated and isolated in abandoned warehouses, the family reunited experienced gentleness and humility. Aid workers used their authority and walkie-talkies to help these families join with each other.

The effort of these aid workers did not solve the grand problem. But, for a moment, people caught in the swirl of chaos knew peace. It was a peace of those who understood the power of bearing each other in love. I think this is something we can all do.


Click to read Ephesians 4: 1-16

Reflection Questions:

  • How would you react to being separated from your parents/or children?
  • What healthy options do refugees of war have?
  • What does it mean to bear one another in love?
  • Where can you show patience to someone living in chaos?

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