I woke up at 2:30 am yesterday to catch a very early morning flight from Sioux Falls, South Dakota back to Kalispell, Montana.
I watched the sun rise at 32,000 feet. Splashes of red and pink, gold and bronze, diffused in the clouds on the horizon where the sun still lay hidden beyond the curve of our planet. It struck me at that moment how we just take for granted that the sun will rise each day as it has for so long now. We take it for granted simply because it has always been there. Since the beginning of it all. We count on it for our very survival and without it, we simply wouldn’t exist.
We should be thanking God for it every day.
There were 3 of us from Orphan’s Lifeline in the sky that morning. We had just spent a couple of days with an amazing group of people from the 41st Street Church of Christ. This is a group of people who have supported the work of Orphan’s Lifeline for 15 years now. That’s just three years less than we have been in existence.
They had invited us to come visit and we gladly accepted the invitation. We really saw this as an opportunity to thank this wonderful group of people for all that they have done to make this mission to save orphan children even possible. We went there to show them what they have helped us accomplish over all of these years. We went there to put faces to names; to shake hands and establish a more personal relationship with these people who have been so faithful with their love for the orphan children that we care for every day. We went there to honor them for all they do to help the children and glorify God.
But, while we hope we did accomplish that, apparently, they had something else in mind. Simply put, they turned the tables on us.
From the moment we arrived, we were treated as honored guests. We were fed wonderful meals and engaged in thoughtful conversation. We were prayed for. We were treated like family. But, what struck me most, simply because it was an effective turning of the tables, is that they were constantly thanking US for our part and minimizing THEIR part in this mission. More than one individual said, “our part is easy, we just write a check.”
I get it. It might seem like all of you have the easy part in writing a check or putting your credit card numbers in the space provided. And I am not saying that our part is easy. It’s not. It’s not easy to monitor the well-being of all of the children we care for. It’s not easy to implement and track the programs that give these children everything they need to thrive. It’s not easy to track every dollar spent for every good or service purchased to be sure that your money is spent wisely. It’s not a simple task to gather and organize all the information so we can report back to you about all that is being accomplished. It’s not easy to ask for your help to make it all happen. But, while the act of writing a check or providing credit card info might be a simple task, it’s a monumental and selfless act that we will never take for granted.
I want to ask you to do something right now.
You might have been wondering about the image at the beginning of this article. The empty frame and the blank space within it’s borders.
They say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Do you see it? Do you see what this picture is saying? This picture says it all and if I hadn’t typed a single word on this page beyond a simple description of the picture, it would have been sufficient to say all that I am striving to say.
This is a picture of all of the children who would have been saved without your help.
This is a picture of every child whose life would have been saved. Every child who would have been taken off the street and given a loving home. Every child who would have been fed, clothed, loved and cared for all these years. Every child who would have been educated and given God’s Word and a chance to know Jesus and have the hope of salvation.
This is a picture of all of them.
When we rise in the morning to start our day, it all seems so simple. Our eyes open, sometimes not all that easily, but they do open. Light enters in through our pupils and stimulates our mind to awaken from the sleep we have been in. The subconscious mind is no longer in control as it has been through the night, automating our life-rhythms, healing our bodies and minds.
The earth awakens. The sun rises. It begins to warm the earth. It shines down it’s life-giving rays and all of life responds as plants are fed, water becomes clouds and another day begins in an incredible partnership between all things living and not living. It is a cohesive and interdependent partnership with many elements all depending on one another for it all to work. Every element is equally important, regardless of it’s size or obvious contribution.
If any element fails to do its job, the whole is affected.
This is our partnership with all of you.
You know, we live in a time in which the news and social media are filled with anger and hatred. We live in a time in which Christianity is being marginalized and even demonized. We live in a time in which the headlines of the day are the rhetoric of the day and are motivated by selfish desires for power which in turn is perceived to be the tool by which one sector of society might be able to impose their will upon another.
I feel sad for everyone who chooses to contribute or give power to that evil. For that is what it truly is. They are missing out on what life is really about. They are missing out on what truly gives joy to the heart and the true purpose to this life.
We are told to “Let all that you do be done in love.” Such a simple statement, but it is the answer to every problem we face in this life. It is exactly what Jesus did throughout His time on earth. It is exactly what God did when He sent Jesus to earth.
It is exactly what you are doing when you give some of what you have to help the innocent orphan children of the world. You are a critical component in a partnership that God put together. He is in charge of it as He is in charge of all things good. It is His will that they should not suffer. Never forget how important each and everyone of you is in this partnership to save God’s innocent children.
Remember the picture frame every time you give to help these children.
They are the flowers.
You are the sun.