Sunday, November 6, 2016

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday....kind of a weird name if you ask me.  I guess I am just not a fan of labels and it feels like calling someone an "orphan" is insulting.  Despite it's name, I think this day is a great wake up call for all of us to look around and see what we can do to help those around us. Not all of us are called to be foster parents, or to fly off to Africa to build an orphanage, but some of us are!  However, if you can't picture that being a part of what God has in store for you, it doesn't mean you are off the hook. James 1:27 clearly tells us that we are, " to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  

So, how do we do that in our everyday lives?  I have an idea, or two to share with you if you are interested. 

What if...the next time we went to one of our kid's sporting events, we cheered for the kid whose parents are never at the game?  And let's be careful not to point our fingers at that mom or dad either.  Maybe it's a single mom who is working two jobs just to put food on the table, or maybe the parent is caring for younger children or an ailing parent.  But, what if we stood in the gap for them, bought their kid a water, encouraged him or her to do their best, maybe even paid for them to have a team picture, or any of the 20 things that come up as an extra expense during the season?  

What if...we shared a little extra love and kindness to that neighbor kid that is always asking to play with your kid?  Maybe treat him or her to ice cream or a nice popsicle on a hot day.  And what if we sat down and talked with him or her, really talked and connected with them in a way that let them know they mattered and you really cared?  What if we invited the neighbor kid to join in with our family game of baseball, or the next water balloon fight? Would it make a difference in his or her life?

What if we did Christmas a little different this year? Are there any children you can think of that could benefit from a little extra love given anonymously? Could we come alongside a family that is struggling and make sure their son or daughter has a present, or two, or three to open on Christmas morning?

What if we invested in a student at our local school, making sure he or she had the school supplies needed to begin the year off right?  Is there a child in your life that could use some new school clothes?  Extra help with homework? Someone to listen to him or her read?

What if we just showed love to all of those sweet little faces that we came in contact with?  What if we looked past the dirty clothes, the sometimes ornery behavior, or if you are from a small town, it might even mean looking past the last name, and just loved all of the people, big and small, in our lives.  Maybe they don't match up with the Webster's dictionary definition of  orphan (or widow) but sharing a little extra love certainly couldn't hurt, right?

These are just a few ideas that come to mind, but I hope you have found one that fits for you. Maybe you have some other ideas that you could share in the comment section below. 


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