To be honest with you, I don’t really know how to go about writing this post. In fact, it is more likely to be my first of several but I find it vital to at least start the conversation. What’s the issue? Well, I have only more recently found myself drawn to the reality of foster children. It began from looking at the Bible and how much it speaks of God’s heart and love for the orphan. It got me thinking: who are the “orphans” in our society now? I feel like in the past there were clearly orphanages (or workhouses in England – think Oliver Twist) where children without parents were dumped. There, they would work till they dropped, or they just pined away with lack of care and nutrition.
Looking around at the United States, you wouldn’t say there are orphanages now. Yet, the core issue was never magically eradicated. Children still exist who lack either living parents or a stable family to raise them. Sometimes, they have living parents who are neither healthy or stable enough to function in their roles. Solution? Well, the children are placed in the “system”, under the care of the government. How great a job is the government doing in taking care of these precious souls? Not only that, I have come to wonder if in fact it is the government’s job to do what we, people who know and love God, are supposed to do. I know that when people think of the Church taking care of children, they balk. What a terrible idea! And yes, given the news reports on not just the Catholic church’s abuse of children, but even cases within the Pentecostal church, they have great reasons. I feel sooo sick within me about many of these individuals who misused their roles of power to hurt and destroy those they were to protect and love. These are/were NOT representatives of Christ. These men and women have done nothing but drag His name in the mud.
And yet…that doesn’t stop Jesus from being who He is. He is Love. He loves those who are hated, abused, discarded, overlooked and broken by society. Every single LIFE is so highly valued by the Creator. At many, many times in my life, I’ve found hope and comfort in the following verse of Scripture: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). In those moments of absolute brokenness, I have believed that He was oh-so-near. He watched me cry at situations that He didn’t cause, and also wiped my tears by being there for me and also working in those horrible situations to turn them around for my good. Thing is, I now see this scripture anew in light of these precious children. I have been blessed to know several parents now who have adopted children out of the foster system. The stories I have heard as to what the majority of these children go through there! As a parent, I literally sit there unable to listen to more, yet needing so, so badly to hear them. By closing my eyes to it, the issue doesn’t just go away. Besides, hurt people hurt more people. These broken children are growing up to be adults in our world. They are likely to cause more and more damage from that place within that was never soothed, rocked, spoken over, and healed. This.is.the.reality.
Yet God loves them! Jesus came for them. Where do I fit in this problem? Where do you and I fit in its solution?
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I’m open to listening to more on this. If you have experiences or anecdotes on the foster care situation, please flood my comment section. I also welcome you reaching out to me privately if that works as well. I have so much to learn. We all do. Knowledge allows each of us to love better.
So much to say, but I’d better stop here for now. Your turn. 😊