I started reading Orphan Justice this week. Last week, the plan was to blog about a few chapters at a time for every week of November in honor of National Adoption Awareness Month. Cute idea, right? I thought so too, until I read chapter one and felt my heart being wrung out like a damp cloth.
So we’ll be taking these short reflections one chapter at a time, giving time for meditation, prayer, and action. Because, already, I see that this book is going to be more than a place to learn some statistics or just wring our hands concerned at what this world is coming to…
The verse that serves as the keystone to everything else Carr discusses in Orphan Justice is James 1:27:
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
Many times, it’s easy to agree with God’s word, a sermon, or our brothers and sisters in Christ who are familiar with what a Christian life ought to look like. But is that enough? We are not called simply to agreement, but to action. Carr shares how his own change of heart towards the care of orphans expanded as he studied God’s Word. How can I say I abide in Christ and not share his heart for the fatherless (Ps. 68:5)? Caring for orphans is not a calling only for those who are called to adopt; caring for orphans is a command to the church and goes beyond adoption and is often more than writing a check (Carr, 19). Carr says it best as he ends the first chapter with a challenge: “We must take active steps to care for orphans. To do anything less is blatant disobedience.”
Free copies of Orphan Justice are available at the missions table in the church lobby. Come back tomorrow. We’ll be posting our first Q&A Forum with our families here at Grace who are directly involved with adoption and foster care regarding their specific calling to adopt or foster but also their thoughts on the broader calling to the church to care for orphans.