The summer before my junior year in college I went to Guatemala with a team of students at Liberty. During the first month all of us stayed at a small orphanage in a town called Llano Verde. Not only did we stay with a few orphans, but we visited several orphanages on the weekends. I remember the pain I felt in my heart for those babies whose parents had abandoned them. It was also difficult to only have one day to play with them and love on them and then say “goodbye”. But I knew I was not only sent there for those babies, but for my own sake. To realize what was at stake and how I could play a part in helping those who cannot help themselves. Even after I had gone away.
As Christ followers, we’re called to help the poor and needy in their distress. This is not an “oh I will do it one day.” But an action that is required of us now- whether it’s to a neighbor in great physical or spiritual need, a young girl or boy who is fatherless, a widow who’s experiencing great loss, or actually going overseas to help orphans and those in poverty. Jesus invited the poor, the broken, the lost, those who smelled, those who lied, those who hated him… all to sit and dine with him. He was never too “good” for anyone and didn’t care where they’d come from. The invitation remains for us today.
Lately, I’ve been realizing all the more that I am really broken. I am no better than the homeless guys I see huddled under the bypass on 75 every morning. God’s grace is the only thing that holds me today.
This 50 second video (from Francis Chan’s blog) reminded me of our responsibility to defend those who cannot help themselves. To visit them in their distress and bring the love of Christ to them. How can you not just want to wrap your arms around them and take them home?
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1:27