“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.
Two of my favorite people in the world made the choice to adopt two Guatemalan boys and raise them as their own. I don’t know a lot about the conversations and planning that took place before both of the adoptions, but I do know that they would tell you it was the best decision they ever made. Gabriel and Alexander are two of the finest young men that I have the privilege of calling my friends; Jason and Ali (their parents) are responsible for their strong and dynamic character. Whenever I travel home to Alexandria I make a point of stopping by their house just to catch up with the boys and have my mind blown by how much they have grown and changed.
When Jason and Ali first brought each of the boys home they had to make the deliberate effort to spend as much time as possible with the boys. Though only children, the parents could sense that they were afraid of being let go and sent somewhere else. Without the mental faculty to fully grasp the depth of their adoption, they could experience the fear of being abandoned. For many nights Ali and Jason would stay with their boys in their rooms just so they would know that they were loved, that they were known, and that they would never be abandoned. I love those two boys more than I can describe. I love their parents more than I can describe. (Jason presided over Lindsey’s and my wedding ceremony; Gabriel was our ring-bearer; Alexander did the Old Testament reading)
Before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection he assured his disciples that he would not leave them orphaned. Even though he knew he would have to leave them, the Holy Spirit would be poured out to never leave them. Much like Jason and Ali staying with their boys night after night, God in Christ has not left us to be orphaned. Our Father is with us so that we can know we are loved, that we are known, and that we will not be abandoned.
The call of all Christians is to combat the plague of loneliness in the world. It is through many of our actions that God’s love is manifest in the world so that people may know what it means to come within God’s loving embrace. Do you know someone who feels abandoned right now? Have you noticed anyone retreating into their own isolation? Our challenge today is to reach out to those who feel orphaned and help them to see God’s presence in their lives.