Last night my middle daughter C went to her first prom. For something as auspicious as that, she was pretty low-key about it. Came home from her friend's house about an hour before she needed to be ready (yes, giving mama a heart attack, knowing her hair still needed to be done and everything!). I curled her hair, helped her lace up her big poofy dress (that she paid for with her part time job), and we made it just in time. My friend K took some pics of her for me. Of course I'm going to show you pics, what kind of mother would I be otherwise??
Now, this post isn't just to brag on C. While I could spend hours talking about her, she actually isn't the focus of the post. As we were out taking pictures, I couldn't help but think about all the girls close to her age in orphanages and institutions around the world. What they wouldn't give for a fraction of the freedom and love that C has every day. I hope next year we get to see pics of Laurel at her high school prom, showing off her new dress. Erin in a few years, all dolled up. There are so many that won't get the chance to be a happy teenage girl. Or even a hormonal my-parents-don't-understand-me teenage girl. Because that would mean they HAD parents. Look again at C's picture. Now look at this one:
Her face is blocked out for her privacy. How old do you think she is? Hard to tell in the crib, but maybe 2, 3? Try 15 years old. 2 years younger than my daughter. P weighed about 18 lbs in this picture. 34 inches long. Colleen was 5'6" at the same age. This is the reality of many orphans across the globe. Please tell me it breaks your heart like it does mine. There is a wonderful woman drawing all the attention she can to this one particular orphanage where P is. Her blog is here. We can help these kids. I read something the other day, and if I could remember where it was, I would link to it, but I can't, so I hope the author will forgive me borrowing and mangling their original quote. We can look at things like this, and say "where's God? Why is He letting this happen?" But maybe God is looking at us and asking the same question. "Where are you? Why are you letting this happen?"
The other night at church my friend was giving the devotional and he made the comparison that the church is like a sleeping giant. And he is absolutely right. God has COMMANDED us to take care of the orphans of the world. There are Christians in every country on earth. Imagine if we all truly took to heart James 1:27. Say it with me: "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". We could make a real difference to these kids! Why isn't more being done? If we call ourselves Christians, and yet turn our backs when we see something like this, what are we really? We should be ashamed of ourselves, for one thing. I know a few months ago I was oblivious to how drastic the problem was. I didn't know. But now I do. And if you are reading this, you do too. It's horrible! In Psalms 68, it says "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land."
But guess what? God doesn't do it by Himself. He can set the lonely in families, but there have to be families willing to step up and accept these orphans. Maybe you aren't in a position to adopt. But you can do SOMETHING! Tell others, help these families financially. Just please, don't turn your back. I know I can't.
I wish I could bring home so many kids. I have seen so many that touched my heart. Right now God has that door shut for me. But that doesn't mean my responsibility, or my zeal for it, is gone. I want to help these kids. However I can. Telling others about the need, advocating for particular orphans, donating financially where I can, and anything else I can think of. I'm at a crossroads employment-wise right now, with the possibility of going back to school full time soon. This is an opportunity I'm not going to waste. How can I put this need into a job that will make a difference? I'm trying to find out where God can best use me. Where can He use you?