Sunday, November 8, 2015

Orphan Sunday, Every Day: Hearts Cracking

Disclaimer: This is a mixed up mess of my random thoughts and things I've learned from our church, adoption support groups, songs, etc.  Any mistakes are purely my own, and anything that sounds remotely wise can be credited to people much smarter than me.

Orphan Sunday
Today is Orphan Sunday, again.  It's a day dear to my heart because it brings much needed and deserved attention to the children who need a family. Here's a great short video describing the purpose of the day:

Orphan Sunday video 

It's true that many kids have been adopted since Orphan Sunday last November. Hundreds, maybe thousands, thankfully.  But an equally important fact is that there are millions who were not adopted since last year. Millions still waiting, equally deserving. 

Breaking Hearts
I love the song "Hosanna" by Hillsong United.  An excerpt and link to full song: 

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

We so often say, "Oh that's so sad. That breaks my heart." But does it really? Does that breaking of our hearts lead to a change, a bold perseverance of doing something about it?  I've often prayed for hearts to soften towards adoption and foster care. But lately I've felt the Holy Spirit revising this. He doesn't just want our hearts to soften, but for them to CRACK WIDE OPEN to the point that we can't help but be moved to action.

Clear Direction

Adoption is hard. Often times we only see the "sunshine and rainbows" aspect of adoption, when the forever family is together in a smiley moment. But being adopted often means kids grieving the loss of their biological family.  They have likely been through things we can't imagine.  God wants us to join them in their brokenness and show them God's love. Meet them right where they are and just BE with them.  God is clear on what he wants from us:

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."  (Matthew 25:40)

 "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 1:27)

"I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. (John 14:18)
More Than a Number
It's easy to see the statistics about the orphans as merely numbers. But we must remember that behind every number is a face, a story, a human being that is just as loved by God as our biological children are. I often ask myself how I would feel if I was unable to care for my children and they were in an orphanage alone. I imagine my sweet boys left in a crib for hours a day with no one to smile at him, hug him, play with him. No one to show him that he MATTERS. That's the way to get my heart to just BREAK. If that were the case, I would be desperate for someone to see them and step out in faith for them.  For all the children needing families, there are unseen birth families behind them hoping desperately for someone to help their child.  As much as I love my children, God loves ALL CHILDREN.  And they deserve a family as much as our kids do.

Here's where it gets sticky.  I have heard people say many, many times that they would love to adopt if they could. But they want to provide a certain life for their children. A life that includes a certain level of cushion, comfort, travel, extra "stuff". Why do we have this viewpoint? This is a worldly view for sure, but not of God at all.  Those distractions and temptations of the world are not what we were put here for.  I promise you, you won't miss all those "extras" when you hold a child in your arms who was former an orphan and is now your son or daughter.

God wants us to be awake and alert to what Satan is doing in this world. And one of the things Satan does is convince us  that our comfort, control and security is more important than the people down the road or across the world.  Today and everyday, let's pray for hearts to crack, fears to fall and eyes to be opened wide. I pray for boldness to lift us into action. I pray for hands wide open and willing to do His will and His work.  We miss out on so much when we let our fears and ways of the world determine our steps.  But when we give Jesus the reigns and let faith carry us, miracles happen.

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Jesus didn't by-pass the needy. He came to them, walked and ate and lived alongside them.  He wants us to get dirty, to roll up our sleeves and jump in.  Take a risk with our time, our talents, our treasures.  And by sacrificing more of ourselves, we get to have a little taste of what it was like for Him.  So let's ask, are we filling ourselves up with the wrong things?  Big houses, busy schedules, vacations... these things trick us into thinking they should come first. But none of that lasts. But inviting a child into your family, that lasts forever.  

Jesus is enough. He will fill us daily and give us what we need. The more we give out, the more He'll refill us with the patience, wisdom, and endurance we need every day.   It's very true, none of us can adopt or foster on our own. But with God at the wheel, there's no end to what we can do. He is our source of power and will sustain us.  Taking this step means the world will look at us differently. Some won't understand what we're doing or why we're doing it. And that's okay, we'll be steadfast in our faith. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

I love that we have a God who stands up for the meek, the needy, the poor, the fatherless.  God always wins, and I always want to be on his team.  Saying we can't adopt because it's too hard, it's too expensive, I don't have time, I just couldn't do it... those aren't truths.  God's Truths are to "Love God and Love One Another" (Luke 10:27) and that's all we need to focus on. The rest will fall into place, because He is faithful and will do the work through us.


I dare us to be bold. I dare us to be counter-cultural. I dare us to make people think we are crazy by opening up our homes, our lives, our hearts.  That's the stuff that changes the world.  When we play it safe and stay in our comfort zone, life passes us by.   Let us be rooted in the Word and not the World. When we read the Word, believe the Word and then LIVE the Word, God will redeem.  And we can be a part of it!

Holy Spirit, stir in us. Make us start to feel uncomfortable. Call us to do your work despite our fears and excuses.  Help us to say yes to God and no to the norm.  Help us to move forward even when we're scared to death and we don't know what we're doing.  Make us brave.

  "... for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose."  Philippians 2:13

What is in the back of your mind? What is the Holy Spirit whispering (or shouting!) to you?  What "crazy" idea is God waiting for you to say yes to?  Instead of over-analyzing it, if you HEAR it,  then TRUST it, and MOVE.

Front Seat
I can tell you from experience - it will be hard. Harder than you can ever imagine. And it probably won't turn out the way you had planned. But it will be good and rich and satisfying to lean into God in those times and be carried through by Him. And there is nothing better than having a front seat to God's amazing power of redemption for that little boy or girl that you said yes to!

" For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home."  (Matthew 25:35)

"This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus."  (Revelations 14:12)

To the orphans
You are not alone. You are a treasured child of God and He sees you and He loves you.   "But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless."  (Psalm 10:14)

Bottom Line
It's not about MY strength, MY control, MY plan, MY abilities, MY desires. Frankly, it's not about me at all.  It's all about letting God do His thing through me.  And as one of our pastor's says "When I think something can't be done, I'm short-changing God's power." (David Smith, Northstar Church)

 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  (Hebrews 12:1-2)
If you feel moved to foster or adopt, I'd love to help you get started.

Kings and Queens by Audio Adrenaline

Kings and Queens lyrics:  
Little hands, shoeless feet
Lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent to grieve?
On their own, on the run
When their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won't let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved
Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout Your name in victory
When we love, when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these
Break our hearts once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend
Won't you look around
These are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open
If not us, who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these
Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free shout your name in victory
We will love we will love the least of these
We will love the least of these (Repeat)

1 comment:

  1. Can I just say, AMEN!!!! Seriously, so good. Keep on pouring out your heart for the ones who wait - your speaking such important truth!