Today's Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Thou hast seen it; for Thou beholdest mischief and spite… thou art the helper of the fatherless.”
Psalm 10: 14
King James Version
“Favoritism for the Fatherless”
“The heart of a child is the most precious of God’s creation. Never break it. At all costs, never break it.”
Joseph L. Whitten
Do I know a “fatherless” child who needs my love?
How can I help this child?
“My soul is still more enlarged respecting orphans. This word, ‘a Father of the fatherless,’ contains enough encouragement to cast the thousands of orphans upon the loving heart of God.”
“I have no fine speeches to make, but from the bottom of my heart, I pray you to wipe the tears from the eyes of the defenseless orphans.”
Herman of Alaska
A Russian Missionary
I don’t believe God has favorites. But if He did, I know who would hold the premiere place in His heart. It would be children, especially those who have no parents, forgotten little ones left to try to survive in a harsh world against demanding odds.
The reason I have come to this conclusion is that over 30 times in both the Old and New Testaments, God calls us into action to protect the fatherless. The Psalmist David penned this beautiful promise in Psalm 146: 9 (K.J.V.), “The Lord preserveth the strangers; He relieveth the fatherless and widow….”
As we have continued our study of Divers Laws and Ordinances in Exodus 21, 22, & 23, we find that immediately after the release of the children of Israel from 400 years of slavery, God specifically instructed His children to extend the greatest kindness and compassion to three groups: strangers, widows, and the fatherless.
As we have come to recognize, we have all been strangers. And hopefully this fact helps us to show compassion to those who feel unwelcome. And I know that when someone loses a spouse, we all can show concern for the person who is left alone.
However, in our world today, there are so many orphaned children, victims of war, AIDS, starvation, and neglect, it is easy to get “compassion fatigue” and to begin to believe that with so much tragedy and sorrow, one person can hardly make much of a difference.
I’d like to offer the life of my father as an example of how one person stepped in to change the plight of a little orphan boy. At 6 months of age, my dad’s mom died. Unable and unwilling to care for such a young child, my dad’s father left him in the care of a neighbor and traveled back home to Tennessee, never returning to his baby boy. The foster home where my father lived was torn by dissention, for while the neighbor lady wanted to keep my dad, her husband had no time for the little rascal and made his dislike for my father well-known, over and over again.
However, God had plans for my dad’s life, as He does for all of us, and a wonderful Christian woman wrapped her arms of love around my dad and took him into her heart. She taught him that although he didn’t have an earthly father, he had a Heavenly Father whose unconditional love would surround him and never let him go.
All it took was one person’s love, reaching out and embracing a fatherless child. And I can tell you this, even though I lost my dad suddenly, nearly 22 years ago, there wouldn’t be a Transformation Garden today without the seeds he planted in me. The work of one person for one child still goes on and on.
Today, in Brooklyn, New York, is the headquarters of the world’s largest Sunday School – Metro Ministries, led by Pastor Bill Wilson.
Pastor Bill is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic people I have ever met. This past year, he celebrated his 60th birthday as well as 40 years in ministry. But to look at him, you’d never know it. People half his age have a tough time keeping up with him. In Pastor Bill’s case, 60 years of living plus 40 years of ministry equals 100% dedication.
When Bill was just 12-years-old, his mom said, “Come take a walk.” After coming to a large concrete culvert that crossed a canal close to their home, she turned to her son and said, “I just can’t do this anymore. You stay here!” She turned and walked away.
Three days later, a Christian gentleman who lived in the neighborhood saw Bill still sitting on a cold piece of concrete. He stopped and picked up the abandoned youngster.
To make a long, sad story short and happy, he took Bill to a Christian youth camp where the young boy, who had never stepped his foot inside a church, found Jesus. As Pastor Bill Wilson talks about this experience today, with tears in his eyes and a crack in his voice, he says, “I know it sounds crazy. It may be hard to explain. But at that camp, after hearing about Jesus, I felt for the first time in my life that Someone really loved me.”
From this experience, Bill Wilson made the commitment to do for other kids what had been done for him. With an old car and a small trailer into which he piled all his earthly possessions, he took off to follow the call of Jesus. This call took him to Brooklyn, New York, to a rat-infested neighborhood plagued by drugs, gangs, guns, and poverty. But when Jesus said “Follow Me,” Bill Wilson didn’t argue. He didn’t ask for a beautiful church building or a lovely parish home. He said, “I’ll go where You want me” - even when it meant Bushwick Avenue!
That was nearly 30 years ago. Today, you will still find Bill Wilson driving a bus every Saturday, along with other “bus captains” as they pick up kids in the “no-go” neighborhoods of New York City. Not only does Metro Ministries, through its programs, reach over 20,000 kids a week, there are now similar projects in countries all around the world.
How did this happen? Because a Christian man, one person, followed God’s instruction to care about the “fatherless.”
One by one by one – you and I may follow the command of our Father who tells us: “Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless...” (Psalm 82: 3, N.I.V.).
“The Fatherless Child”
“Papa don’t know me
The world don’t care
Still I am likeably
Willful and dear
I may be lonesome
Inside some shell
But where I come from
Makes me still well.
The future is mine
Glow and each shine
As freshly as new
I like the water
That’s running away
And how much it clatters
In the morning’s play.
This is my world
As much as it’s yours
Each beauty that’s pearled
In living contours
You have so much
I shall have it too
Each with its new touch
If my dreams come true.”
Peter S. Quinn
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
James 1: 27
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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