Original photo credit: Rachel DeMars
If you had an hour alone with God and could ask Him only one question, what would it be? I actually have quite a list of questions I’d like to ask…things about Jesus, how the flood happened, am I doing as He has asked, why did certain world events happen, and on and on… But if I only got to ask one question, I think it would be this.
Why do some children have the good fortune to have parents who love them and provide for them and spend time with them, and other children are used, abused, and walked out on?
I suppose the question is a result of life as a single mother of two children who haven’t seen their father in over 20 years, and the work that I do in the child welfare system. On the day I sat down to write this post, we had just received word that the mother of two of our youngest students is voluntarily relinquishing her parent rights.
And the whys just keep coming.
There may be an answer one day, but for now, I don’t have any answers. Except that I know God’s heart breaks for every child who is hurt in any way, especially by the very people who should care for them the most.
I remember what Father’s Day was like for my kids. There’s not a card for an absentee dad. There’s not one for the mom who steps in to fill both roles either. For my own children, I’m forever grateful to my dad and the other men who stepped up to help raise them. If you are still raising children, I urge you to take the responsibility seriously and do everything in your power to do it well. As parents, we may not do everything right, but showing love to our children will more than make up for our shortcomings as parents.
I see each year what Father’s Day is like for the kids we serve at Crossnore. It’s a day filled with memories, many of which are unpleasant. It’s a reminder that they are not in the place where they most want to be. The children I work with are blessed to have many men who work alongside me to pour into their lives every day. You may not be able to work in a children’s home or to become a foster or adoptive parent. But you can pray for these children. You can donate to the agencies who seek to give them the things children deserve in this life. You may even consider volunteering some time to a child without a father. Your love and time could make all the difference in the world for a child without an involved father.
I wonder how the kids who live in other countries feel if they are missing a dad. I expect it’s not much different than kids here in the US. The two children I sponsor through Compassion International are both blessed to come from intact families. But I know there are thousands of others out there who not only don’t have a father at home, they are also waiting to be sponsored. The impact of your sponsorship is nearly immeasurable. Sponsored children go to school, eat nutritious food, and receive medical care. More than that, they get to know and experience the love of Jesus. They learn that the love of a father is not outside their reach.
The Psalmist wrote,
The True God who inhabits sacred space
is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.
He makes a home for those who are alone.
He frees the prisoners and leads them to prosper.
Yet those who rebel against Him live in the barren land without His blessings and prosperity.
Psalm 68:5-6 (VOICE)
God promises to be a father to the fatherless…to defend those who can’t defend themselves…to be a home for those who are alone. I think that’s the answer to my question. Because people are fallible, God steps in to be infallible.
Tonight I had a cottage parent tell me,
That’s all we have to do. Love other people in Christ. Love children so they can come to know God as their father. We absolutely don’t have to be perfect, and we couldn’t be if we tried. But we can be perfect in loving others like nothing else matters.
Because the truth is, nothing else does.
Can you think of any better gift to give a child this Father’s Day?
Click here to sponsor a child with Compassion International and change their future forever!