God is so faithful to answer prayers that are in His will. Over the past couple years I have read alot of books with heart-breaking stories, some biographies, some historical fiction. About a year ago, while reading some of the historical fiction and sobbing my eyes out, I cried out to God. I asked Him to open my eyes to see what He sees...to break my heart for the things that break His heart. Boy, has He ever answered that prayer!
These days it feels as if my heart is going to literally burst. Do you know that feeling? My chest actually physically aches. Both last night and this morning, I felt like it took every ounce of my strength and concentration to not break down into the ugly cry. Oh, how heavy my heart feels!
Today, I got to spend my morning snuggling precious babies. I helped out in the nursery at our Bible Study. We had four sweet little ones, and four of us adults to care for them. While I thoroughly enjoyed playing with them, watching them giggle and rocking them to sleep...I could not stop thinking about all the children who never experience this. All those precious babies in orphanages around the globe who never giggle at their caregiver, who don't get rocked to sleep, who don't get cereal-o's to snack on just because. The thousands of beautiful children who spend their days laying or sitting in a crib crying because there is no one to pick them up, who don't know what it is to play, who don't get their diaper changed but maybe once a day. The children who don't know what a loving embrace feels like, who don't know what safety and peace and joy and warmth and love feel like. All because they are not "perfect".
I want you to take a minute and picture your own children. Whether they are little now or were long ago, picture your child as a toddler. Now imagine that someone took that child away from you and put them into one of these orphanages where they were not hugged and not loved and not cared for, but rather neglected and ignored and abused and forgotten. They were forced to stay in their crib all day long...in a room full of cribs with crying children who were never attended to...a room that smelled horrendously from all the children made to sit in their own filth... A place where they barely got enough food to sustain them, and no one ever picked them up to cuddle them. Endless days of dreadful existence.
And your child is there, crying out for Mommy and Daddy to come...crying out for nothing more than to feel loved and secure and safe.
Could you turn your back on your child? Leave them there? Say it is not your problem? It is not your "calling" to go rescue them? Someone else needs to do it?
No? Then why do you turn your back on the ones that are there?
You may not have been the one who abandoned them. But you are the one who is ignoring and neglecting them.
If that were your child over there, you would stop at nothing to save them. No one and no thing would stop you from getting there as fast as you could to rescue them. Your thoughts and actions would be consumed with trying to get them back into your loving arms and safe home. You would be appalled and disgusted by what you saw there. You would be angry that anyone could do that to a child.
So why don't you feel that way now? Are those children any less deserving of love than the ones in your home? Is it ok that they are treated that way? Should you just leave them there and do nothing because they are not your responsibility? Of course not!
It is your responsibility! It is your calling!
"Defend the cause of the fatherless..." Isaiah 1:17
Doing nothing is not an option. God says clearly in many places in the Bible that we are to take care of the fatherless. In the book of Deuteronomy, He gave the Israelites many laws and instructions on how to live. In there He repeated many times how they were to provide for the fatherless. Does He care about the orphans less now, in today's society? I'm pretty sure the answer to that is absolutely not! He loves them and wants them taken care of just as much today as ever.
"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered." Proverbs 21:13
So why do we go about our lives thinking that it is someone else's problem to deal with? We live in a nice, suburban bubble here in America. Even if we "struggle" a little financially, we still have no idea what much of the world's "struggling" looks like. And instead of reaching out and trying to educate ourselves on the matter and figure out a way we can help, we gladly put on our blinders so that we can fully concentrate on our own lives.
"Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves!" Ezekiel 34:2
You need to prayerfully consider what you can do to help. As I said before, doing nothing is not an option. Can you financially support a family who is adopting? Can you babysit for a family who needs to take the training classes? Can you make meals for the family who just brought their child home? Can you donate $10 or $25 a month to an adoption grant, such as the ones on Reece's Rainbow? Could you use your tax return to help a child get a home? Can you forward this post to others? Can you educate and encourage others to take off their blinders?
Could you open your heart and home to another child?
No matter what it is, trust God to help you...financially, emotionally, physically. He is faithful! You won't have to do it on your own. Whatever it is.
Just do something!
And, may I make one more suggestion? Don't pray, "Lord, let my heart be broken with the things that break your heart" unless you are really prepared for it to happen in a big way!