You can read Part 1 here. Now, where were we? Right, the unlikely candidate.
In a group of 20 children, a little girl, who we will call Lily-Anne (changing names for privacy) is around 8 years old. She is clearly the leader of this group. She is like the oldest child in a family, because really that's what this little group is to each other. They fight like brothers and sisters and they love like brothers and sisters. Lily-Anne is the caretaker. She settles their fights and has a true sense of fairness. She hugs the little ones and comforts them when they fall. Lily-Anne has a beautiful smile, tan skin, dark eyes and hair. She is Roma in her heritage (Gypsy) and in her country that fact alone is why she remains an orphan. No one will adopt a Gypsy child. Lily-Anne looks and acts just like any other child in her situation would. She seems so strong. She watches as parents come and choose her friends to be their children and she still loves.
I lost count of how many times we watched as Lily-Anne shared her snack with a younger child, broke up a fight, ran an errand for a teacher. She has such a helper's heart. Marty and I watched as this precious child smacked herself in the face with a toy one afternoon. She was taking it from one little guy to give to another and he let go faster than she thought he would. The plastic toy struck her hard in the face and caused her lip to swell and bleed, just a little. We've all been there and it hurts. I put my hand on Lily-Anne's shoulder. I wanted to be sure she was okay. Lily-Anne lifted her tear filled eyes and smiled at me. She would not allow herself to cry or to be comforted and she walked away for a few minutes by herself. Marty and I looked at each other over the tops of little heads and our hearts broke even more.
We only had just a second to think about Lily-Anne, because there were at least 6 others demanding our attention. We talked, later, about how sad it was and God just kept bringing Lily-Anne back to my mind. Lily-Anne's only special need is that she needs a family. She is the hands and feet of Jesus to the other children in that orphanage. She is mothering them. Yet, who holds Lily-Anne when she's hurt? Who is her safe place? When does she get to just be a child? Where is her Mama? God was asking, "Do you see? Do you feel what I feel? Is your heart breaking?"
God's heart is breaking for Lily-Anne. She was born into a broken world. She doesn't feel valuable or lovable or worthy of being held and comforted. You can point fingers at a society who doesn't except her because of her skin color (we aren't to far from that place in our own history, so I'd be careful) or you can point a finger at the church. While God's heart is breaking for Lily-Anne it is also broken I'm sure by the lack of compassion coming from within His own body to care for Lily-Anne and all the others like her.
God used Lily-Anne to show me that each child has a story. They are all more than numbers. They are little souls waiting on us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. They will wait and hope until the day they turn 18 and even then they will wish for a family.
Special needs, boys, girls, healthy, Gypsy, Black, White...they all need families. We all need families. They all have a story. They are all more than numbers. They laugh, cry, love and hurt the same ways that our children do. Please, do something. God is watching how we will respond to these children and their great need. We have the answer. We are the answer. The church has everything it needs to end the orphan crisis. We have enough beds and hopefully, enough love to go around.
Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!
Please, pray for Lily-Anne, too.
Hidden in Christ,