As I spent much time on bended knee, tending to this little girl with her endless needs, I experienced deeper worship than I’d ever known. I often found myself at the end of my own strength and skills, and I learned to depend much greater on God. Without a spoken word, she’s taught me more about Jesus than any sermon I’ve ever listened to.
Whether Mother’s and Father’s Days are acknowledged as part of your church’s worship service or not, we’re wise to recognize the state of mind and emotion present in adoptive and foster parents and their children on these days. It’s important to recognize and express sensitivity toward each member of these families.
Many Christians build their families through adoption out of loving concern for orphans and to live the faith James describes. I hope churches continue to bring the orphan crisis to light. And, as they do, I pray we—as the Church—can come alongside the families whose children’s past trauma continues to cause the “distress” James 1:27 mentions.
The evangelicals I know care about the people and causes that Jesus cared about during his earthly ministry. They may not necessarily fit the narrative that many in the media would like to propagate about our community. I can’t help but think that evangelicals would have a very different image in our larger culture if more people had the opportunity to get to know some of the folks I was surrounded by during the last three days.
The issue of “orphan care” has become rather en vogue within the Church — even to the point of having an “Orphan Sunday.” And that’s all good and well, but if we are not careful, the Church could be the crowd on the shore. But what if, instead of saying “we only know how to say jump,” the crowd had rushed to the end of the pier, with arms outstretched, yelling “Hang on! Help is on the way! Don’t lose hope!
Our church community didn’t know what we would need, but they said yes with us: yes to loving through the brokenness, yes to being faithful to the ones (me included) who need to learn to trust once again, yes to a bit more chaos in our row during worship, yes to choosing to do good for young ones for whom others hadn’t always chosen good in their recent past.