Monday, November 23, 2009

Defend Their Cause

Some nights when I was a little girl, I would sneak in my parents' bed after they'd tucked me in for the night. There was something reassuring and safe about being in that king size brass bed that was so popular in the 80's. Many times, I would still be awake when my parents discovered me. Even at eight years old, I remember making myself go as limp as possible to feign deep sleep when my Dad carried me to my bed. I'm sure my Dad caught on as I was too young to fake my breathing pattern, but he indulged me anyway. I suspect he knew that the whole ritual - being snug in their bed and then being gently carried back - made me feel safe and cared for.

Fast forward 21 years. I am a Mom now and I had a very sick little boy. My son could get very little relief between bouts of vomiting. As we laid on the floor, me massaging his weak, fever -racked body and praying over him, I had a distinct feeling of deep sadness wash over me. There was a sudden realization that, though Noah was sicker than a dog, he at least had someone to watch over him. I thought of all the children around the world who have no one to rub their back, hold a cool wash towel to their forehead or whisper words of comfort and love over them.

November is Adoption Awareness Month. There are an estimated 143 million orphans around the planet. Some estimates go above 200 million. That's 140+ million children who may never know what it feels like to be carried by a loving Daddy. That's 140+ million kiddos who will catch a bug, some from lack of access to clean water, and they won't have a Mommy to rub their back and console them. There are that many children who will never know the taste of a Thanksgiving turkey or know what it's like to sit around a dinner table and give thanks with a family. Their family.

"Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." I love that quote by Dr. Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision.

So, what stirs the heart of God? Isaiah said, "Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." No wonder God made him a prophet. He spoke some rich stuff.

For a God who spoke so much into the Scriptures about defending the cause of the fatherless, it seems we believers ought to open our hearts and pay attention. Lest we develop a religion that is holey, gaps conveniently left where it would be too inconvenient to act, instead of a faith that is holy.

We have so many options - supporting an orphan or child with one parent through World Vision or Compassion International. All for the cost of eating out once a month. One meal at a nice restaurant or providing food, safety and an education for a child.

Then there are children in need of a foster home. There are refugee children escaping volatile situations in their countries who arrive in the U.S. in need of a home and a family. You can pray about becoming involved with the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program either as a foster parent or a mentor. There are refugee children in the area in need of a mentor as I type this.

And, most obvious, is actually adopting. To bring home a child that needs a Daddy to carry her. One that will know the tenderness of a Mom's hands and care. To show a child what it feels like to laugh around a table and eat turkey with a family. Their family.

As our church often discusses core and non-core, it is evident that caring for orphans is one significant calling of and command to all believers. Am I saying you're a rotten Christian if you don't adopt? No. Am I saying all believers need to take up the cause of orphans and it comes in many forms?


All believers.

So, I'm asking, what can and WILL you and your family do to show the love of Jesus to a fatherless and motherless child?

Disobedience vs. Obedience. Holey vs. Holy

Choose Obedience. Choose Holy.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James...God spoke good things through him, too!

1 comment:

  1. So glad you're a guest blogger--this is GOOD STUFF! Hope Noah's feeling better, too!