Last Sunday was orphan Sunday….a day set aside by churches across the world to bring attention to the staggering number of boys and girls without a family to call their own.
Some folks even go so far as to set aside the entire month of November for thinking about and advocating for the hundreds of thousands of orphans in our world. Many people are writing and sharing some pretty inspiring things. I’ve read some incredibly insightful articles lately. Passionate words written by folks who have adopted, folks who are in the process of adopting, and folks who work with orphaned children on a daily basis. With all the poignantly-written articles abounding, I got to thinking…can we ALL really be doing something? SHOULD we all be doing something? Is that truly realistic? Are we all “called” to be involved in ministry to orphaned children?
A fellow adoptive mom (her family is just about ready to bring their new son home!) shared some very wise words with us the other day. With her permission, I’d like to share them here…
She was talking about the difference between being “ready” and being “called”. She used the example of trying to get everyone in the car to go somewhere. You’ve got the whole family ready to go, and then you realize someone’s missing. So you have to get out of the car, go inside and call the missing person…even though that person KNEW everyone was going somewhere that day. Instead of being in the car, ready to go, they had to be called. Get where this is going?
She asked this question:
“I wonder if the CALL from God comes because we weren’t already ready? Could it be that when He finds us NOT ready to go, THAT’s when He calls us?”
Wow. I’ve just never looked at it that way. So often we hear of people being “called” to this or to that. The “calling” is placed on this pedestal of holiness and we stand in awe, looking up at it, waiting for OUR turn to be called. Waiting for the call can often give us ample time to make excuses:
“Well, I wasn’t called to be a preacher.”
“I haven’t been called to visit nursing homes.”
“Our family just hasn’t felt the call to adopt/foster/support families who are.”
Look, I’m not writing this post to put pressure on anyone. And I’m DEFINITELY not writing to put anybody up on a holy, unreachable place. Even Father God, in His infinite wisdom, perfect holiness and unfathomable love isn’t unreachable. Jesus made sure of that.
This isn’t about pressure or guilt or making anyone feel forced to do ANYTHING they’re not sure of. As this article so clearly states, do NOT adopt, unless you are really ready! But, adoption isn’t the ONLY way to serve these kids.
Let’s get to a place where we can finally step out and ask:
“God, what do you want me to be doing? How can I serve You in my realm of influence TODAY? Please, show me what that looks like.”
And then, after putting ourselves out there with God, let’s shut up, be still and listen. Because He will speak….through His Word, through spouses, through pastors, through friends, through countless other unexpected ways….He’ll speak. And when He does, He’ll tell us how to be READY.