I am reading a book right now called there is no me without you by Melissa Fay Greene. This book is turning my world upside down...or maybe it's turning it right side up. As I read this book, I am beginning to piece some things together, starting to see things a little more clearly. Or perhaps it's the Lord helping me to get my eyes off of me and onto things and people that truly matter to Him. There's a song that I sometimes sing to Him that has this line in it: "Break my heart for what breaks Yours...everything I am for Your kingdom's cause." This song has become a prayer for me. I'm tired of being selfish. I'm tired of thinking so temporally. I want this one life to matter for the Kingdom. I want to fulfill His purposes for me in my generation. Here's what's really cool to me. Many things break His heart. What He chooses to break your heart over is probably going to be different than what He breaks mine over. But when you step up and take action with the empowerment of God's love and His Holy Spirit inside of you and I do the same, He's able to do exceedingly abundantly more through us, His Church, than we could ask, think, or imagine.
Here is an excerpt from this book. I warn you, you may want to read with a kleenex in your hand. "In 2005, Ethiopia had 1,563,000 AIDS orphans, the 2nd highest concentration of such children in the world; and 4,414,000 orphans from all causes, the 2nd highest number in Africa. Out of all these children, 1,400 departed for new families abroad that year." "Adults stood on the rocky road outside [the orphanage] gate, politely knocked, then waited in the rough-cut shade of a juniper tree, holding the hands of frightened children. 'Please, I am sick; I cannot feed him.' 'Please take them, we will not live much longer.' 'I cannot bring him up, I have no money and his father is dead.' 'I found them in my yard - I don't even know who they are.' Some ragged children were given a rough shove in [the orphanage's] direction by the neighbor or distant relative in a hurry to be rid of them; others were petted and wept over by grandparents too poor and frail to keep them..[she] saw the small, pinched faces, the heads hanging so low on the chests they seemed to have been unpinned from the necks. Like sacks of grain, the children were transferred to new ownership. They shuffled forward without looking up, ashamed." (pg. 144-145)
I imagine that many of the adults who spoke to this orphanage director did so tearfully, mourning the loss of the children they love so very much but cannot keep. Some children who find themselves in orphanages were tragically not wanted, but many, many of them were. What great love their family members show when they give up their children in hopes that what they cannot give them (even if they desperately want to) will be provided by someone else. When my children ask, "Why didn't my family want me?" I will do my best to explain that, in all likelihood, they DID. I've been praying already for the family members of our children, that they will all come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I've already begun praying for our children to come to know and love Christ. One of my biggest motivations beyond their own eternal security is this: that the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who lovingly gave them up for a season will be able to spend all of eternity with them. What a day of great rejoicing that will be!