Sunday, November 3, 2013

Orphan Sunday

Today is orphan Sunday - recognized around the world in churches and among adoption organizations. My Facebook newsfeed was full of photos with quotes about orphans, videos of cartoons about orphans and pastors talking about orphans. I have friends that had adoption fundraisers today after their church recognized orphan Sunday. All day, the Christians of the world focused on orphans. Our Sunday school lesson was about adoption!  (Kinda easy for us to teach right now) 

I felt myself wondering.

Do the orphans know it? If so, I wonder how it makes them feel? Are they thankful that the Christians in the world are thinking of them today? Are they hopeful that there are families out there who will come get them after they celebrate orphan Sunday? I just wonder what it is like to be an orphan on orphan Sunday. 

I am not against orphan Sunday. Please don't take this that way. Quite the opposite. I am a big fan of orphan Sunday. I am very much a fan of anything right now that draws attention to the beautiful children that need families around the world (Ukraine in particular, right now, for obvious reasons) but also for the orphans that I have spent time with in past years in Jamaica, and in Belize. And those where I have friends that have adopted from, in Ethiopia and China. And those kids in America, who are currently in group homes or foster care. I am thrilled that we have orphan Sunday for these kids! 

But I just wonder sometimes if recognizing orphan Sunday is enough. In our comfortable churches, with our appropriate heat and air, with discussions of football, hunting and shopping and a sound system that rarely flickers (and it is tragic if it does.) is sitting and watching a video about orphans really what it means to "care for orphans and widows in their distress?" Not that the videos are bad either, but that sometimes we stop here. A tear forms and trickles down our cheeks, we smile and the cute little boys and the girl missing two front teeth. We want to hug them although the miles between us are many. But we can't do that now, so, we wipe the tear, walk out the door, and wonder about lunch. With a slight glance back, we move on. 

The orphans don't. They don't move on. They are still there. The boy on a broken rusty swing, the girl running through the field. Their birthdays come and go, many without mark or remembrance. Some not remembered because no one that now cares for them even knows when they were born. There is no day to celebrate. No birthday candles, no cake smash, songs to be sung or family to argue about who will take the photos, or who has to be in Which photos. 

We discuss the price, the fears, the questions and concerns. We consider all options and weigh the costs. They stand and simply say, it really doesn't matter who you are, or what you have, I want a loving family. 

I believe orphan Sunday is a good thing. I really do. If it does what it is intended to do. If it makes us uncomfortable long enough to force us to do more than smile at a video. If it makes us do more than throw money at an orphanage. If it makes us do more. Christ calls us to do more than recognize a problem. Christ calls us to solve the problems, with His help. Christ calls us to love..... 

Do we really want Him to break our heart for what breaks His? We might do well to look to the people He instructed us to take care of. What is stopping you? 

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