April 18, 2011
“mindful” of the orphan
Anthony shares his heart.....
What is it in the heart of God that cares so much for the orphan? I don’t mean to question the obvious. My plea is more of an exclamation out of sheer amazement and pure awe.
“What is man that you are mindful of him?” Psalm 8:4
And much less, what is a forgotten child that you are mindful of him? I have come to realize recently that an orphan child is not just abandoned by his family or even by her country. She is abandoned by the world. And at the risk of turning away any reader of this post, you and I are in the world.
Before I entered the world of adoption, for most of my life, I never once was “mindful” of the orphan. Any orphan. That’s what orphanages are for, right? Those kids are taken care of! They get three square meals a day, surely. They sleep on beds and not on the street. They get love and attention from the caregivers of these institutions. Surely!
But most orphans do NOT get three square meals a day. They may NOT have beds to sleep on, just mats on the floor. And if they do have beds, where are the mattresses? We’re talking wooden or metal slabs. And all too frequently, they get attention from caregivers alright. How’s this for attention—fondling, rape, beating, being thrown in cribs, neglect, being left to wade in their feces and urine all day long, being tied to wooden “toilet” chairs, being rented out for the day to beggars who need to invoke more sympathy, and even murder?
These are very real occurrences. I know. I have first-hand or second-hand experience on each of these happenings mentioned.
How many orphans worldwide experience this on a daily basis? Well, think about this: today there are 147,000 million orphans in the world. That’s five million more than the entire population of Russia! Now consider that most of these orphans live in countries that are not “mindful” of them. You can imagine.
But now imagine this, even if an orphan lived in a five-star orphanage (we are imagining, right?), is his or her life better off without a family? If you are a five-year-old child, would you rather live a lonely existence at the Ritz Carlton or in a loving, Christian family that lives just above their means?
Shame on me. I have not been mindful.
If only the world heard the stories.
If only I had time and money to travel the world to shoot video footage what we hear on a frequent basis but the world doesn’t. I WISH that me and my video camera were invisible so I could stand behind the caregiver at her desk when eight-year-old Vanya from Eastern Europe runs up every day to see if a family is coming for him yet.
Or when a friend of ours, who just arrived in a country for their second trip, gets ready to go back to her lodging after her first day back seeing their five-year-old. I want to shoot how he melts down in hysteria and tears, crying out, “Don’t let my mommy leave me! Don’t go, Mommy!”
Maybe then the world will realize why God’s heart breaks for the orphan.
Maybe then God’s people will get a fire under them to do something about it.
Maybe then the Christian who is in awe of other families who adopt many times over will kneel down at their bedside tonight and do one simple thing: ask God what HE wants THEM to do about it.
Maybe then we will finally see these millions of helpless, hopeless children find their forever families.
I am blessed to be able to call Anthony and Adeye friends. They have such a heart for the orphans of this world.