Saturday, November 6, 2010

Orphan Sunday November 7, 2010

Proverbs 21:2-3:
"Every man's way is right in his own eyes,
         But the LORD weighs the hearts.
    To do righteousness and justice
         Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.

Today is Orphan Sunday.  It is a day set aside for people to remember the orphans.  

When I was in college I came home with a video on the people in the world living in poverty.  This video excited me.  The number of people living without basic needs such as clean water, shelter, food, and safety was astounding yet I loved the video.  I brought it home to share with my parents (Dad and Step-Mom) and they made me turn it off because "it is depressing and why would I want to watch it?"  I pondered this question for years.  It was depressing.  Why did I think it was so wonderful?  I really didn't know.  I kept the video for 10 years and might still have it stashed somewhere, but I have not watched it again.  

Just recently while preparing for this post I realized what was so beautiful about this video to me.  God used it to break my heart for the poor, to give me a glimpse of His love for the poor in this world.  He gave me just a tiny portion of His compassion for others, a tiny, tiny portion, but I loved it.  He has given me similar glimpses of His love for specific people before--those who don't know Jesus, new moms having difficulty with a new baby, and children struggling in our school system to name a few.  Usually this extra dose of compassion leads me to donate time or money in order to help those specific people while my heart feels soft with mercy.

           Isaiah 58: 6-7: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter? When you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"

Most recently, since I confessed this attitude, God has been breaking my heart for those children who have no families.  It started with one person's post saying, "the most disgusting form of poverty is being without a family."  Remember, God has already softened my heart towards the poor.  I pondered this statement and realized how true it is.  How often in America do we remind ourselves, "well, I don't have the biggest house or the nicest car or a cell phone, but I have a loving family!"  Orphans aren't even thinking about houses or cars; even in America, children in the foster care system don't even have new shoes or multiple outfits to call their own, and in other countries, many have even less.  Things cannot make up for what they are missing, because what they are missing the most are families.

Anyway, I do not believe all Christians should adopt.  Trust me, the more I read about adoption the more I believe it isn't for everyone.  However, I believe that God does want all Christians to feel compassion for and care for the orphans.  If you are currently seeking God's will for your life and striving to know Him better, I would like to ask you to let Him show you His heart as it applies to orphans.  If you aren't sure how to seek God's heart on this topic, I challenge you to read the posts that God used to soften my heart.  Let me know if they break your heart as they did mine.  

Psalm 51:15-17:
"O Lord, open my lips,
         That my mouth may declare Your praise.
    For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
         You are not pleased with burnt offering.
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
         A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."

To learn more about the current state of orphans in our world: 

Sunbreaks of China (Glimpses of Orphanage Life) as told by one special little girl who is no longer an orphan at Throwing Our Arms Open Wide

If you are one who has said, "Someday...I'll adopt or do foster care" the following links might help you decide if someday is now:

If you don't think one person can make a difference:

As I've said before, adoption is not for everyone.  It isn't even the most efficient way to help all the orphans in this world.  But if your heart is breaking for all those precious children and you want to do something this link has many ideas to get you started:

James 2:14-17:
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith 
but he has no works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother
or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and 
one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and 
be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary
for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no
works, is dead, being by itself. 

Ni Hao Y'all



Life with Kaishon said...

This was such a wonderful compilation of links about the subject. Thank you for doing this. I will go and read over these. I think adoption is a very, very beautiful thing. I thank God every day that He has brought my baby in my life. I can't imagine life without him. It was definitely the best thing for me to do. I pray many others will be touched to adopt as well. Together, we can all make a difference.

Lisa said...

Your so right! BEAUTIFUL Post! You have me thinking and drolling and checking into things. Who knows were it will lead...but my heart is open.

THANKS for this great post!