A hug for the King...

Recently, Taya and I had the opportunity to visit an orphanage with over 80 children under the age of 11, including 15 newborns. 80 kids without a family! It was absolutely heartbreaking... One of our co-workers asked: “I wonder if they even know what ‘family’ is?”

We have such great goals and dreams for our son, but we found ourselves surrounded by children who had been given-up, taken-away, abandoned, orphaned… What will happen with their lives? Will little Omar grow up to be a preacher or drug-dealer? Will precious little Avery grow up to be a prostitute or schoolteacher? Does anyone even care?

The orphanage seemed fairly well run, and we were pleasantly surprised at how healthy the kids are. We spent the whole day feeding and hugging newborn babies and playing with some of the older children who have such severe handicaps that they don’t even attend school. It was fun to just love on them a little.

As we left the orphanage, Taya and I talked about what we had experienced, and what it showed us about God. I mentioned to Taya that “sometimes it's kind of hard for me to grasp God being a “person” when we don’t see Him with our natural eyes, and it’s not like we can even give Him a hug or a high-five…” Wouldn’t it be easier to show our love to Jesus if we could see him?

But as we continued to wrestle with it, we remembered Jesus’ words to His friends. In Matthew 25:40 He talks about people who showed true friendship, compassion, and hospitality to people in need. Jesus tells them,

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these… you did for me.”
So, in a sense Jesus was saying “when you gave that little orphan Avery a hug, you gave it to me… when you gave Omar a high five, you were giving it to me. I know you want to hug me, so hug them. Those are my kids...”

I’ve read that Matthew 25 passage many times, but this was the first time I realized that there are actually two groups of people in it. Jesus calls one group “righteous”, which basically means “in right standing with God, approved or acceptable to Him”. Jesus welcomes that group to a new home with a special inheritance. But Jesus called the other group of people “cursed” - they’re headed for doom.

It’s as if He stood there with his arms wide open, and one group ran to Him and embraced Him, while the other group left Him hanging. But both people were given the same opportunity, I just hadn’t noticed it before. It kind of shows how vulnerable Jesus makes Himself for us too, He’s the one standing there with arms wide open, He’s the one who has made the first move. Now the choice is ours. I guess this hugging thing could be pretty serious business.

*interesting sidenote: I just found out that the name "Omar" means "speaker"

“Never wait until tomorrow to hug someone you could hug today,because when you give one, you get one back right away.”~Author Unknown


Anonymous said...

Wow guys, that was just heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing that.

Megan said...

We are SO sheltered. These precious little ones are the innocents - without any choice or any say in the matter. I can see why our heavenly Father loves the fatherless so.

Star Molegraaf said...

I'll take him- Omar that is- just tell me where to pick him up and I'll take him!!

Love the blog- look forward to reading it.

Anonymous said...

hi guys!
i love your blog! i've added you to my favorites!!! what an amazing sermon. just listened to it for the second time!! we sure missed cindy and taryn here but how awesome that they could come!! i can't believe how big isaiah looks in the pictures below! it's only been a few months since we've seen him. he's turning into a real boy, not just a baby anymore. they grow so fast! he is so precious! we miss and love you!!!
aunt traci, uncle ryan, sam, max and jackson :)

Anonymous said...

Well, this brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful experience to love babies. Looks like you had an amazing time. Wish we could have been along.
Love Mom

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