Today’s Reading: John 14:18 (NIV)
[Jesus said], “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
I have a difficult time choosing my favorite Scripture passage because there are so many verses that continually speak to my heart. Yet, I would have to say that this one verse, John 14:18, is one of my all-time favorites. I didn’t live in the state orphanage all that long. I don’t really have a memory of what it was like there. I have a few black and white pictures, but they don’t reveal much about what it would have been like to have grown up in an orphanage. I have met some folks along the way who were reared in state facilities, whose parents couldn’t keep them for numerous reasons. Some folks were taken into state custody when their mothers and fathers broke the law and went to jail. Others simply couldn’t afford to feed them. Having raised three children, I have some understanding of the costs involved. In 2008, it is an astronomical expense to raise even one child from infancy to adulthood. If you feed, clothe and educate one child, sending him/her through college, parents should expect to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars according to recent cost of living statistics. I want you to know that my three children have made me a millionaire! They are priceless to me and were worth every penny I spent. What a gift it is to have a family to love.
My mother used to tell me that I was special, because she hand-picked me from all the other babies in the orphanage. Yes, I was adopted, and so was my little sister. We were both blessed to be adopted as infants. If I could, I would say thank you to my birth mother, wherever you are, for choosing not to abort me, and giving me the chance to live. Forty-nine years ago, you made an extraordinary sacrifice of love, by giving me up so that I might have a better life. I will always love you for thinking more about me than of yourself. I pray that you are well and happy and I know we will meet one day in heaven. We will know each other instinctively. What an unselfish gift to willingly give up a child to prospective parents who cannot have children of their own. I cannot imagine what that would be like.
The word family takes on a whole new meaning in 2008. We have biological children, adopted children, blended families and financial sponsorship of children worldwide. Jeff and I are very proud of a young man whom we have not yet met face to face. Melvin lives in El Salvador with his mother and sisters. We hear from him often. He likes to draw pictures of his family and school friends. His artistic abilities continue to grow as he grows. We sponsor Melvin for just pennies a day, and it is a joy to know that he can go to school and learn, receive healthy, nutritious food and adequate clothing and have his medical needs met. One day, we hope to meet him, and say thank you for allowing us the privilege to share life with him. His love continues to nurture us here in the US. Melvin’s picture is on our refrigerator, right next to our grandson Jett. They are the same age, and we love him instinctively. Our families are yoked through Christ’s love.
In God’s house, there are no orphans. We are all brothers and sisters, adopted through Christ into the kingdom of God. In this close-knit community of faith, we learn to nurture and care for each other, just as Christ loves each and every one of us. We help those who cannot help themselves. We choose to love because we are all King’s kids.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for not leaving us as orphans. We look forward to your return.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding
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