I am working an event for Christian Retailers in St. Louis this week. It has been a great show with interesting sessions and no technical difficulties (yay!). I have worked this show for three years and I found something unique about this year that thrilled my heart.
The Christian world really is awakening to the needs of the orphan.
My husband and I have been on that track, we have many friends who are on that track, and we are seeing some churches on that track – but this week confirmed it for me – God is doing something across Christian culture in the name of the orphan.
This show is interesting – there is a sampling of people from every possible denomination and persuasion of Christian life represented. It isn’t too often that you see conservatives and charismatics, traditionals and radicals, people in bonnets and headscarves and tattooed from head to toe all sharing the same space and interacting and worshipping together. If they believe in Christ – they are here. So it is a cross-section of people who you rarely see gathered in one place.
And speaker after speaker, singer after singer, sales rep after sales rep talked about the orphan. Even my crew, mostly people who do not share my faith, a wonderful hard-working motley crew of agnostics and atheists, noticed it. And strangely, many of them were adoptees themselves or had siblings who were adoptees. It was great for my crew to see that side of Christianity – to see the hearts of Believers that care for the least of these.
People who have a heart like Christ.
I am so glad my crew got to see that – so often they see the dark prideful underbelly of Christian productions/events. You ever wonder what technical people think about Christians – well, you wouldn’t want to know. Techs watch every move and know who are divas, who are living double lives, who are one person on stage and another when my guys are putting a microphone on their lapel. They have seen it all – so I was grateful when they got to see heart after heart touched with a love for those “being led away to death… staggering towards slaughter.”
Don’t get me wrong – It still wasn’t a perfect show – there were still egos and issues. They’ll never see a perfect Christian because there is no such beast in this world. But this year it was better.
You guys who know me well know my bias – my mind and heart are centered on the orphan. My desire to adopt is so ever-present that it is almost painful sometimes. So I know I am hyperaware – but in one session, 5 of the 6 performers talked directly about the orphan. And my host was an adoptee. That is not a coincidence.
God is doing something pretty powerful. In high school we talked about knowing God’s will and someone once told me “You’ll know God’s will when you see where God is already moving and you join in.”
God is moving in the hearts of people to give the orphan a home and a family.
And we have the chance to get on board.
And I just have to wonder if this movement isn’t going to be how God redeems the reputation of Christianity in the United States to draw some people to Himself. Let’s face it – we have a crap reputation. And most of it is well-deserved. We have not been about love and justice and peace, we have been about behavior modification, capitalism, and judgment for far too long. But one thing we are beginning to get right is the heart for the orphan. And the world isn’t necessarily getting it right. Yes, I know there is Angelina Jolie, Madonna, and Sandra Bullock. But I just googled the word “Orphan” to try to get a good picture for this post. Almost every response was a screen grab from the awful movie Orphan that came out last year. Pages and pages and pages of that awful image. How sad that when you google “orphan,” you don’t get pictures of the 147 million actual precious human children who are going to sleep tonight on the street or in an institution or in a temporary facility, but instead you get a visually disturbing photograph from a horror movie. We as Christians are supposed to be salt and light in a dark world. How much more counter-culture could we be than if we reject the distorted idea presented in that film that the orphan is somehow unfit for a home or dangerous. What if we sacrificed to show redemption and love to these tiny precious children who the world fears because of some jacked up horror movie. The verse I quoted earlier Rescue those being led away to death. Hold back those staggering towards slaughter is just one of the verses the Lord has given Justin and I as He has called us to adopt. The reality is that if most of the orphans are not adopted, they will die or be institutionalized for the rest of their childhood. They are at tremendous risk for attachment disorders. They often are the victims of trafficking and many enter the sex trade. They are staggering towards death. And they have done nothing to deserve that. They are like my Bekah or my Grace – they deserve safety and love – they deserve to be cuddled and kissed and allowed to sleep in the home of parents who adore them. If Christians around the world would be known as the force that gave homes to every orphan in the world, if we would just take the cause of the orphan seriously, there is no telling what we could accomplish and the lives that would be literally saved. If we would stop investing in buildings and start investing in people – we could get somewhere. Maybe instead of being known as the people who don’t “believe in” homosexuality and dislike liberals and don’t cuss or drink – we could be known as a force for good. Maybe that could turn our reputation around and people might then be interested in the God we say we believe in. Now not all – Jesus said we would be hated because of Him, but maybe some.
Maybe people like my guys.
I named this post Orphan because maybe someday Google will pick it up and it can be just one post that presents the cause of the orphan in a positive truthful light. Maybe it will be clicked and bump at least one site about that terrible movie into the gutter where it belongs.