Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Heart Breaks

The book of James is easily my favorite in the Bible. So practical, and so challenging. Even if you haven’t studied the book, I’m sure many of you are familiar with the verse (one of my favorites) which says:
“Religion that God our Father considers pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 NIV
Before I went on the World Race, I didn’t know quite what to make of this verse. I thought it sounded really good, but I didn’t even know of any distressed orphans. How then, could I look after any? I’ve had to accept the fact that even though orphans may not be running through the streets of Californian suburbia, that doesn’t mean I have no obligation to help them.

Unfortunately, the AIDS crisis is giving the world plenty of opportunities to show love to orphans. I just read a report by Tom Davis (who I met during world race training in Mexico) who is there now in Swaziland (which I visited last November) with his organization Children’s HopeChest. In his blog, he writes:
It’s just heart-breaking to see the numbers of widows trying to care for 8, 10, or 15 orphans in a tiny little hut with no support and no food of their own. Starting tomorrow we are beginning a carepoint from scratch. We'll start feeding the orphans in the community under a tent (the one I preached in from a video blog a few days ago), with a cast iron pot. We’re excited to get some of our programs underway in such a desperate place. We found 95 orphans living alone who hadn't eaten anything in 3 weeks.
Wow… here’s a guy who is really living out the scripture. He has chosen to do what it takes to look after orphans and widows in their distress. I can’t read his words without wishing I was back there, alongside, providing food for the hungry and hugs for the forgotten.

I deeply appreciate everything God has given me, but I HATE the fact that my comfortable life soothes me to forget the great need that exists most places in the world, rendering me useless. It’s not that I don’t want to… it’s just that without constant reminders my outrage somehow slips away. I don’t want to live like that, full of my good intentions.

I invite you to join me, to challenge me, and to hold me accountable. If we have to do some research to find a good organization to support, let’s do it. If we have to get a little ‘uncomfortable’, and step outside our borders to show love to the lonely, let’s do it.

Whatever it takes.

These pictures are of me & a couple of buddies at a carepoint in Bulembu, Swaziland (Nov 2006). I don't know their stories, only their impact on my heart.

1 comment:

Bonnie Arnwine said...

Ok Katherine, the challenge is on. Let's each find three organizations that are doing front line ministry work with orphans get together and figure out how to fund them.