BY: KYNDAL NICHOLS
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27
Caring for the orphans and the widows. One short phrase. Is this optional? I think not. As a Christ follower, He has not suggested. No, He has commanded. A command that cannot be taken lightly. If it is a command, why do we so often overlook it? Why do we turn a blind eye to the brokenness and heartache of a fallen world?
Ignorance is not an option.
143 million. A number that I cannot fathom. There are currently 143 million orphans in the world. Numbers, statistics, and facts are so easy to overlook. Easy to overlook, until you put a face to one number. Until you know one. One face. One child. Now take that one face, and replicate it 143 million times. 143 million no longer becomes a number. It shakes you to the core. Now that just seems overwhelming. As if nothing can be done. But it can. We should be a generation up to the challenge.
Why does this matter? From a worldview – it is injustice. With this many parentless children in the world, how can this not cause harm to society? Children growing up in orphanages or foster homes, suppressing the pain of neglect and abandonment. Hurt that follows them for the rest of their life. This pain, neglect, and abandonment shatters their trust and view of hope. This results in early deaths, increased chances of prostitution, criminals, and substance abuse. This causes nothing but harm.
But why does this matter from a Biblical view? We too, were orphans. Born into sin. Broken from the start. God has a heart for the least of these, which we once were. But through his Son, there is hope of adoption. Adoption into His family, as children of God. Not just any god. But the true and living God. This is why He sends us into the world demanding care for the orphans. It is a true picture of what God has done in my life, as well as other Christ followers.
So what can be done? Start with one. One child, one life. Whether it is through adoption, fostering, serving, or donation, share the love of a worldly family. But, above all, share the hope of an eternal family. Of an eternal Father who can redeem a broken past. This is what He has called us to. It’s time to begin taking His word seriously. Because our lives do in fact, depend on it.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” ” Galatians 4:4-6