Not Forgotten

C

No brightly colored rooms, no diapers, no warm blankets. Dirty cribs held babies who had long stopped crying, they had learned no one comes when they cry out. Some of the babies had serious health issues; others appeared amazingly healthy considering their diet mostly consisted of cabbage soup.The babies in this orphanage were some of the loneliest beings my eyes had ever seen. Though still under a year old, the babies didn’t make eye contact, they didn’t coo or laugh when you interacted with them, they didn’t melt their bodies into your arms. Some even went ridged when held.They were mere infants and it seemed as if they had already given up.

The older kids appear to feel forgotten they naturally pointed visitors to the younger children. Such inner turmoil was visible. They longed to engage with us, yet they protected their gravely wounded hearts. What is the point in hoping when searing disappointment will only torture their desperate souls?Most everyone wants the younger kids; the older ones are used to being passed by. They were merely surviving in a hollowed out shell.

I spent years going to orphanages all over the world. My heart was broken and burdened so deeply for the millions of children who have never had a human tear shed on their behalf. No one has looked their way unless they wanted to use, abuse, or capitalize on their vulnerability. I cannot reconcile the evil that pounces upon a child at any given moment, all over the world, every day of every passing year. I cannot imagine the horrors some of these delicate souls have had to endure. It is nauseating. I cannot understand much of the suffering this world has to offer.The world offers pain, sickness, greed, pride, disappointment and eventually, physical death. At times it is hard to reconcile a loving God with such grim pictures in the stealing away of children’s innocence. But this is exactly why we so desperately need to see God in this picture.

God chose to come to this place that holds such sorrow and abuse. God chose to dwell among those who would hurt the vulnerable, the innocent, the despairing. Since the beginning of man, children have been abused, they have been orphaned and they have been abandoned. Since the beginning of time, God had a plan. He had a strategy to redeem his children.

We were murderers from the get-go. We hate with our heart and want what we cannot have. We cling to our idols no matter how many times God has proved himself trustworthy. We have sickened ourselves with addictions. We have set up our private little kingdoms, thinking we are worthy of worship. We have manipulated, lied, stolen, and ignored the wounded. We are a filthy, pathetic bunch of orphans running around with snotty attitudes and noses. How lifeless we can be. How depressed we are with thinking that God looks past us, to the more beautiful ones, to more “deserving” ones. Though He cradles us in his loving arms, we grow rigid. Though He came and dwelt among us, gave His life blood for us, cried out for us and redeemed us, we still act as if we are orphans.

Precious, beloved child of God, see His heart for you, for the orphan. Feel His tender compassion on you, on the Fatherless. Know that He is your Abba, Father, he sees it, He hears the silent cries, and He smells the sick vapors of the evil atrocities upon the vulnerable. In those times of hard questions, He is there. He has always been there. He has not sat silent, He has not allowed evil to prevail. Death has been conquered and one day evil shall be no more. Nothing, not dirty cribs, blank stares, empty arms, broken dreams, shattered lives, stolen innocence, the starving body, not even death can thwart the power of the moment God stepped down into this world and redeemed his children. You are a redeemed child of God, your sins have been forgiven – you are no longer an orphan. You are not forgotten!

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May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!