Reach Out Your Hand to an Orphan
I have attended two funerals this week, a sad reminder of the more than seven deaths of family members and close friends I have experienced in the past few years. Today, I visited a place where we had many family celebrations, and the loneliness for those who have passed on flooded into my soul again.
When grief threatens to overwhelm me, I cannot begin to understand how other people make it through without Jesus in their lives. Times like this make me so grateful for the love of God. Especially for the gift of His Son and His atonement for the sins of all of us. Jesus’ death in our place is the only thing that makes it even possible to see our loved ones again in heaven.
Grief is real, it’s raw, and it never goes completely away. My friend and author Sandra Aldrich says losing a loved one is like an amputation: it heals, but it’s still an amputation.
Just imagine how grief must feel to an orphan! Or to a widow, who is also an orphan, if left without family.
This is National Adoption Month, and our latest Heritage of Truth guest, Kim de Blecourt, reminds us of a sobering fact: Of the estimated 150 million plus orphans around the world, only 0.001 percent will ever be adopted. Many of those children live in the United States. So many wait in foster homes and group homes, hoping for someone to care, someone to show them the unconditional love of God.
God’s Word makes it plain that God cares about orphans and widows. Isn’t it time for the church to stand up and do what God called us to do? James 1:27 tells us to “visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” That’s what James describes as “pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God.”
How much time and money do we spend allowing the world to stain us with its ungodly entertainment? Our own pleasures? How about our upcoming, often exorbitant, Christmas celebrations? Reach out a helping, loving hand to an orphan today. Even if you can’t adopt. You can do something. Anything. Show an orphan or a widow that God has not forgotten them, that each one is precious in His sight.
Be the hands and feet of Jesus and help to melt away an orphan’s grief. Then watch your own grief turn to joy.
Jeanne Gowen Dennis