Today, as I gaze at sweet faces that stare back at me from waiting child photo listings and orphan hosting lists of children who didn’t find forever families while they were here in the United States, my heart just breaks.
132 million vulnerable children, abandoned children and orphans sit around the world this morning without parents to call their own. Without daddies to hug them tight, without mamas to dry their tears.
After two back-to-back weekends of family weddings and extended family reunions where our superheroes got to experience the love and laughter and chaos of FAMILY, this concept is just unfathomable to me. And when I picture millions of orphans without this kind of accepting, forgiving, unconditional love in their life … it’s almost too much.
Sometimes, opening my eyes to the size of the problem hurts too bad. I have to retreat to a safe space in my head where I can just love on my own superheroes and savor their sweet smiles and try to forget that 132 million other children are longing to look into mama eyes and hearts today.
It’s easier to ignore the faces of the children we left behind when we brought our third superhero home from his orphanage in China. To turn off the images that still haunt my dreams. To bury myself in the activities of my care-free, comfortable life while promising to pray for orphans and the crisis around the world.
But God didn’t call me to close my eyes. He didn’t call me to live in comfort while an entire population of people lives in pain. He called me to be His hands. He called me to be His feet. And He gave me His Holy Spirit, not so I could enjoy its fruits in the convenience of my home and with people who are easy to love, but so I could RELY ON HIS STRENGTH as I served WHEREVER and HOWEVER He might lead.
Alone, I can’t do anything to solve the problem.
But with the strength of the LIVING GOD who SPECIALIZES in adopting the least of these (this high-needs girl being the first in line), I get the HONOR of being part of the SOLUTION.
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”
(Original story by Loren Eiseley)
These are not children we’re “saving.” I, in my flawed human nature, don’t have the power to save ANYONE. I can’t even save my charred dinner most nights, not to mention the life of a child.
These are children from broken places and broken pasts that we are HONORING and LOVING — with the never-failing love of an all-perfect God who is the ONLY one who can save any of us from anything.
We just get the privilege of being part of the REDEMPTION story, one child and one redeemed life at a time. And we get to follow in the footsteps of our Good Shepherd who left the 99 in search of the ONE. Who SEES the ONE. Who SEEKS OUT the ONE. Who passionately loves and reaches out to the ONE.
Because He knows best that ONE redeemed life MATTERS.
If you can’t adopt millions, just adopt one.
If you can’t host millions, just host one.
If you can’t share the stories of millions, just share the story of one.
You don’t have to be overwhelmed by the size of the problem — you can be in awe of the size of the God who will equip you to become part of the SOLUTION.
All it takes is being willing to love these children as individuals, one beautiful starfish at a time.