There’s nothing gloomy about this little snaggle-toothed precious is there? Surely not! Isn’t she a cutie?
But what if I told you her story includes a dangerously unstable shack in the middle of a Brazilian slum … with raw sewage running down the pot-holed dirt “street” outside the front door?
What if I told you her father’s not in the picture because he’s serving a life sentence for murdering her mother?
What if I told you her older sister started using drugs routinely before she was 11 years old, and no one did anything to stop it … because that’s just the way it is?
What if I told you this little sweetheart had started down the exact same path? What then? Would the gloom begin to settle in?
Well, I just told you.
So what now?
Every day in our world, children just like her are abused, exploited, neglected, trafficked … orphaned.
But it’s okay. If the children in our lives are well cared for, then the 27,000 new orphans every day are someone else’s problem, right?
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distressand to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
If we simply gloss over that verse, perhaps we’ve already been polluted by the world. Perhaps our focus is wrong. Perhaps we’re saying one thing … and doing another.
In my recent Reader Survey, the vast majority of you identified yourself as Christians. Me, too.
So why did I waste so many years being a “good” person, even going to church every Sunday, giving a little money to orphans but really no more than a nod? When it came to God’s little homeless ones, my best expression of faith was a mostly sanitized version. I guess I let myself get polluted by the world because, according to Scripture, the religion I practiced was neither pure nor faultless. Oh, I was obedient to God in many areas, but something was wrong. Very wrong.I was missing God’s best for my life … and I didn’t even know it.
Today I find myself living waaaaay out of my comfort zone. I sometimes feel scared … and often out of control … and right where God wants me. I’m learning to trust. I have so much more to learn …
I’d like to challenge you to learn with me.
Do you know anyone who’s adopted? Do you know a foster child — or foster family? Have you been introduced to the needs of orphans somewhere else in the world — somewhere far from where you live? (If you’re a regular visitor here, you have to answer “yes” to that last question!)
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then grab your calendar and put this on it:
November 3, 2013 – Orphan Sunday
You see, I’m just crazy enough to believe that with God’s help, you and I can actually make a difference in the lives of orphans. We can speak up for the voiceless children in our communities … and our world.
You and I
WE can do that!
At the very least, I invite you to pray with me. For the month prior to Orphan Sunday, I’ll be participating in 30 Days of Prayer for Hope. A free devotional guide is available from Hope Unlimited for Children. Just click the link to receive yours. And while you’re at the site, why not click on the Give Voice tab to see if there’ssomething else you can do.