This blog post is written in partnership with Show Hope, a movement to care for orphans.
Plainly, I care about the orphan because God cares about the orphan. The Bible is littered with examples of God’s heart towards the orphan and His provisions for them. He commands His people to care for the orphan, inviting all of us into the ways that He will be faithful to His promises.
More practically, I care about the orphan because I see the nourishment and support that a family provides. Each child, no matter where they are born – a small village in Africa, a slum in India, city in England or a suburb in the United States – is full of potential. There is potential for this child to contribute to changing the world, but their potential is increased or decreased based on their access to a loving family to protect and provide for them. Children are able to overcome insurmountable odds, but a loving family as a child’s first line of defense and first community only helps increase a child’s view of self and ability to positively impact the world.
The power of a family is not limited to the orphan. As I’ve transitioned into adulthood, my parents have supported me every step of the way, by forcing me to stand on my own two feet and not providing for me financially, by helping me test drive cars and make pro and con lists and by driving two cars to Indianapolis and spending a weekend moving me into my big girl apartment. They have come alongside me and believed in me even when I could not believe in myself. My parents, Sue and Mike, have solidified my belief in the value of a family.
Jesus was born into an earthly family. The Bible communicates that Mary, Joseph and his brother, James, all play significant roles in His life on earth and the ministry of the Church after His death. Even though He experienced the ultimate fellowship with God the Father, Jesus, too experienced the benefits of an earthly family. We do not know much about Jesus’ childhood, but one can imagine that His family helped shape and form into a man, even though He was God.
I care about the orphan because my heart is tuned to the marginalized. God has written them on my heart – I have a hard time hearing stories of heartbreak without my own heart breaking. Jesus hung out with those on the margins, and as a follower of Christ, I want to follow in His footsteps. Jesus sees the potential in each person, no matter where they’re born and if they’re born into a family or not. I want to be part of bringing God’s kingdom to earth and part of that is through caring for the least of these among us – including the orphan.
As the Outreach Coordinator for MLJ Adoptions, I am able to care for the orphan by sharing with prospective adoptive families what children without families may experience in their early years. I am able to speak about the success stories of families who have brought children into their home and helped them move from orphans to sons and daughters. It is the greatest privilege of my job to advocate for the world’s most vulnerable children. God cares about the orphan, He cares about their situation, He sees their potential, and He invites me – and you – into the story of advocating for their right to a loving family.