Today, a lot of people gather to remember + advocate + brainstorm how we can come together to deeply care for, serve, and love children who are forgotten. Children of all ages, in all locations, who are not being cared for, served, or loved in safe families. Today is Orphan Sunday. I want to share why this matters to me.
I look at my beautiful (I guess he’d prefer handsome!) three-year-old son, and my heart can barely contain the weight of what it means that he’s part of our family. The “orphan” label has been ripped off, ripped up, and thrown away. Forever.
He is loved. He is valued. He is our son.
Caring for orphans doesn’t have to and doesn’t always look adoption, but I am so thankful that our family has been touched by the joy of saying yes.
And oh, adoption isn’t easy. Adoption means loss. It means the tragic loss of a first family and having questions that don’t always have answers. It means leaving behind so much more than most can fathom. But adoption also means profound love. A mama to tuck you in at night and a daddy to play trains, and cars, and trucks. It means a family that will love you, always, no matter what.
Doesn’t every child deserve to feel and know and breathe that they’re valued and treasured? To live knowing that they are not mistakes? That they were created in the image of the Most High and that they are precious in the eyes of God, even in the midst of a broken world where broken people, families, and systems might have told them otherwise?
On Orphan Sunday, Christians around the globe celebrate the love of the God who “defends the cause of the fatherless” and calls us to do the same. Ultimately, Orphan Sunday makes God’s true character and the Gospel itself visible as God’s people explore and respond to His heart for the orphan in adoption, foster care, and global orphan ministry.
My friend Lovelyn posted this photo + caption, and she says it so simply + perfectly here that I wanted to share:
This scene just hit me hard on this Orphan Sunday. So thankful that my boys do not wear that label anymore and have put on the one of beloved sons. May we arise and love the orphans better. Pray. Sponsor. Foster. Adopt. Support those called to care for them on the mission field or to fostering or adoption. Give. May we arise & do everything we can to PREVENT orphans. Sponsor families. Buy fair trade. Support ministries helping with sustainable living. Give to nonprofits that are fighting to keep families together. Love. Just pray how you can love. :::: …and learn to live right.
See that justice is done. Defend widows and orphans and help those in need. Isaiah 1:17
This month, I’m going to use Many Sparrows to explore different ways we can care for to the many, many little faces who have been forgotten. Maybe it’s the child down the street. Or on the other side of town. Or in a different state. Or in a different country. Or continent. They are all important and they all matter.
Oh, friends, we can’t all do everything. This I know. But, we can all do something. And we act and move and love not out of guilt, but out of a outpouring of profound and true and faultless love from our Father in heaven. When we ask God to break our hearts for what breaks his, when we use our lives daily as acts of worship to our Creator, we have a life more abundant.
Soak that in — a life better than we can imagine. When we take God at his word that Jesus came to redeem a lost and broken world, and we live out that truth, our lives our so much fuller. So much more joyful. Saying ‘yes’ and living against the culture and the expectations of the little kingdoms of this world is not easy. But is good. So. Good. To have the profound privilege of joining with God as he redeems broken situations and makes them beautiful…there is nothing better.
There are countless places to see the overwhelming statistics about the mother and fatherless children in this world. We know the numbers. So, now, let’s do something.
May that head knowledge dwell in our hearts and flow out of our hands.