Of course you do, and so do I. We’ve seen them on our TV’s, on our computer screens, at our schools, under our bridges, and even down the street from us. We’ve served them on trips or places we volunteer; we talk about helping them in our churches. I could share a lot of statistics with you. But maybe you’re like me. I’ve heard all the statistics, and my heart hurts, and my hands feel compelled to act -- until a few minutes later I go to Target and find something cool on clearance. And I forget. But I don’t want to forget anymore.
I want to keep living in this uncomfortable place that I’ve been for the last few weeks of crying for starving, dying people I don’t know. I want to keep wrestling over what things I should buy and which things I shouldn’t because I don’t want to live in excess while millions of people live in need. I want to keep praying with my family about how we should simplify our lives so that we can give more sacrificially, more generously, and I want us to do it. I want to keep feeling this keen awareness as I sit down to eat that there are people in my own town wondering if they will be able to feed their children tomorrow. I want to remember as I go to the pharmacy to pick up our prescriptions that there are people in Africa who lie dying in hospitals because they can’t pay for medical care. I want to ache as I tuck my kids in at night because there were thousands of children who were sold into slavery today. I want to remember as I lay down in my bed (that has more pillows than the number of people that are in my family) that there are people sleeping on park benches and in cardboard boxes and entire families living in one room huts. And as our little ones tackle Ben and me as we share a hug, I want to remember that there are lonely people in need of someone to wrap their arms around.
And my Father’s plan is to set the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). And as we move forward on our road to give an orphan a family tree, I want to trust in His plan and provision and power. I want to find peace and hope in that as we do this tiny little thing in the scheme of the world’s overwhelming orphan crisis, that we are doing a big thing in the world of one orphan. I want to wake up each day on this road and take small steps with shaking feet and trembling hands and embrace this new level of trust that He is calling us to.
And while we wait, I want to stay on my knees and be willing to stay there and get dirty as I serve. I want us to keep asking Him about what we can do, how we can give, who we can love TODAY. And Jesus, help me to remember that You spent most of Your time on earth with the least of these. So today, let me draw near to Your people and all the while draw near to You.