When caring does not mean adopting
The Bible is replete with commands about caring for the poor, concern for the least of these, and love for vulnerable people. Our ministry, Pure & Faultless, is based on James 1:27 which specifically speaks to caring for two of the most overlooked groups of that time – widows and orphans. As I have journeyed in faith, I have come to understand what caring for people in Jesus’ name might look like in my life.
When I first heard about Mabel in March, my heart leapt for her. I was broken over her situation and drawn to her sweet smile. Truth be told, I wanted her to be in our family. After almost three years of saying my family was complete with me plus three, I considered whether we had room for just one more. For a variety of reasons, Mabel could not join our family. That result is not only okay, but good!
I have learned it doesn’t always have to be me; I don’t have to be the one to adopt every child who tugs at my heart, and thank goodness, because there are many! I don’t need to be the one to give the last $20 to fulfill a financial goal. I don’t have to wrestle every issue to the ground. Indeed, the more we step back, the more the people of the Church can engage in a deeper and wider way. By encouraging others, needs are not only being met but MORE needs are being met!
Case in point, Mabel’s family. Pure & Faultless worked hard to spread the word about the need for a family to love and walk with Mabel through her heart transplant. Not one but multiple families raised their hands. The Lord knew that ultimately, the Sykes family would look to Jesus, agree in faith to bring Mabel to their family, and pursue her adoption. And what a blessing that has been.
Getting to know Troy and Tana has been amazing. They are the perfect family for Mabel. They love her fiercely and Mabel is learning to love them. If I had rushed to adopt Mabel, we would have missed the blessing of the Sykes family, and I would have missed out on multiple God moments with Tana. Sure, Mabel would have had a family, but it might not have been God’s best!
The Bible is specific about the mandate to care for orphans and other overlooked groups in our world but it doesn’t provide a play-by-play, dictating how we should do so. Indeed caring for orphans in your life might look a lot like this: giving generously, supporting prayerfully, advocating ferociously. Because when you do? All glory to God, this can be the result:
In light of your recent work in Haiti, here is some interesting perspective on orphanages in Haiti by a long-term missionary in Haiti.
Hi. Thanks for your comment. We love Troy and Tara Livesay and the ministry they serve. We also agree with their blog post! That’s one of the many reasons we are not opening an orphanage in Haiti or anywhere else. What we are doing, however, is supporting Pastor Joseph (a local Haitian) in his support of children who have been in his care, many of them for more than 10 years. We aren’t advocating for him to increase the number of children in his care, only that those who are already there have their needs met. Thank you for your note!