November 4 is recognized as “Orphan Sunday” and the following weekend, the Katelyn’s Fund family is taking it one step further with a local auction on Friday, and a Sunday service/luncheon. We recognize that the Katelyn’s Fund family reaches much further than the faces we will encounter for either of these weekend events…and that is something to praise God for. Katelyn’s Fund, and orphan ministry, have many more representatives…..because God is good. I am part of a group planning a service for my home church on November 4. In this planning process, I’ve spent lots of my time considering what we should present to the congregation, and why, and how. We want to increase awareness, and interest, we want to stir Christians to understand and grow in compassion for orphans around the world, and here at home. I’m sure I will fail at this task miserably in my home church….because I am just not good at that. I don’t know how to explain to someone why they should care for orphans. Why do I?
I care, because God gave life to each soul that grew in a womb. God authored each person’s existence. Somewhere along the way sin, social disease, poverty….and the list goes on and on….interrupted God’s plan for these lives of these millions of children. Their stories were all changed into stories without families, without arms that reach for them. These children may or may not have had someone make eye contact with them hours after birth. Eye contact is imperative for the internal worth of a human being. These children may not have had anyone kneel down and summon them with arms wide open, to take their first steps….and then cheer when they were able to teeter forward to loving arms for a rich, warm embrace. These children, who we call orphans, may not know what it feels like to have a safe, loving adult read them bedtime stories, brush their teeth, and say prayers together each night when the room grows dark.
I care about the orphans around the world because my children all had all of this, and more. My soul is riddled with pain and grief and even guilt, for all of the kids around the world who didn’t. God intended for each child to have the same rich inheritance in Christ. We don’t all get the same life here on earth, but in Heaven……no one is more or less deserving of that inheritance. I want the kids of the world to all know the riches of the Kingdom that is waiting for them. I want the naughty little boys I teach every week in church class to know that God has ordained a rich inheritance in Him, for each of them. I want the clients I work with in my public health job to know it, no matter how broken they may be on the inside….and I want orphans to know it too.
I don’t want to “celebrate” orphans on November 4 or November 9, 10 and 11. I want to understand our responsibility in the term…..to make sure that in as much as it depends on me…..I can share the TRUTH that there are no orphans to God, that we are all his babies, and that even if no one else did…..the Lord of Heaven and Earth made eye contact with each child delivered into the world. He smiled and nudged each child to take his first steps….and was waiting with a rich, warm embrace when he did. God Himself whispered bedtime stories to these children while they dreamed, and “brushed their teeth” to maintain them, and tucked them in with Angel wings when their bedrooms grew dark. God was there…..for every child, every one He created.
That’s what I want Christians to know this November.