Saturday, November 7, 2009

I heart the Book of James

Today on facebook I saw two people put James 1:27 as their status so it was just rolling around in my mind all day. This passage says: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." ---ESV

I started thinking...Orphans? Where are they?
I recalled that a friend of mine has a friend that is opening an orphanage in Africa. Its for abandoned babies. I think my dream would be to sit and rock babies all day and love them so I was like wow maybe I should go there and Africa??? Then I was like, you know, Africa is kind of far. My mind recalled other friends that have gone to orphanages on the Mexican American border or in Mexico city and I thought about googling those. But Mexico is kind of far too. I felt stumped....I think there is an orphanage in DesPlaines illinois...Like a home for troubled teenagers or something. But would the CTA take me there? I didnt think so. can I love and care for the orphans? I dont have enough money to sponsor a child like on the infomercials, and that feels like drive by charity to me. I was like God, I want to serve you as the bible says. Then I remembered the girls that come into Sunshine. I remembered one in particular. I met her on the street in front of my work as she ran from her cousin and right into my legs. Her cousin was yelling that "she was bad and because she was so bad thats why she had to live with her auntie, because her mom didnt want her and dont nobody know who her daddy is." That day my heart wrapped itself all around this little girl.

I think we all know orphans in all of our communities. Some kids dont have a mom, lots of kids dont have a dad. Some kids do have one of these parents physically, but emotionally? spiritually? defines orphan as:
a child who has lost both parents through death, or, less commonly, one parent
but it also goes on to say an orphan is also:
a person or thing that is without protective affiliation, sponsorship,
and also:
not authorized, supported, or funded; not part of a system; isolated; abandoned:

I know of whole communities that look orphaned. Lets redefine orphan. That word just broadened and encompassed a vast majority of children I see everyday.
Maybe I dont need to get all radical, maybe God didnt always mean for us to make these grand sweeping gestures of religion but to just put our hearts and feet into the neighborhood.

And a quick sidenote: When does one stop being an orphan? Are you no longer an orphan when you are 18, even if the consequences and repercussions last far into adulthood?

Caring for the orphans? It looks alot like loving your neighbor right about now.
I like how Jesus said the same thing like 77 different ways so everyone could get it.

Read the rest of James too...Its amazing.