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Thousands of Kosovar refugees, forced out of their homes, fleeing into neighboring countries. The whole thing is beyond heart-wrenching.

We can, of course, contribute financially and support agencies that provide humanitarian aid. And we can pray. God, being impartial and universal, loves each one of these people. And it's prayer that can help God's love be felt in tangible ways.

Also, when you become aware of specific problems the refugees face, your prayers can target those specifics. For example, one of the most serious issues, besides the lack of basic human necessities, is loss of identity. Many people have told of being stripped of all identification papers before being driven out of Kosovo. In addition, most identify themselves strongly with their own villages or towns. They want to return. Furthermore, they're fundamentally identified by ethnic origin - this is why they've suffered the brutalities of ethnic cleansing to begin with.

When our ultimate sense of identity is rooted in geography or language or religion or wealth or social status - or even ethnicity - it can prove vulnerable. People may be left asking, "Who am I?" They might feel like the "wanderers" described in this sentence: "Without natures particularly defined, objects and subjects would be obscure, and creation would be full of nameless offspring, - wanderers from the parent Mind, strangers in a tangled wilderness" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, pg. 507).

"Nameless." "Wanderers." "Stran-gers in a tangled wilderness." "Without natures particularly defined." These seem apt descriptions of the refugees. But the sentence prior to the one just quoted presents an identity that can never be lost. It says, "Spirit names and blesses all."

Spirit is a biblical name for God. And the Bible defines each refugee as made in God's likeness. This is the underlying identity of everyone, everywhere. If God names or identifies all, then identity must be from Spirit - spiritual. In which case, it cannot be material. And because God is universal, not one of His children is displaced. Even if, through dire circumstances, people are moved from one country to another - even if they lose homes, family ties, geographical roots - they carry with them their permanent, indestructible spiritual identity.

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