March 27, 2012

God, Anger, and what a silly song taught me about justice for the orphan

On Sunday, a silly, little song made the world make sense to me.

For the last almost two and a half years, our adoption has shaken my faith.  It has been a reminder that we live in a tragic and fallen world.  I've seen that quote, "Adoption is bringing the gospel to your living room" and I've wanted to embrace it. But too many times, it feels more like it is bringing the hurt of the world into my living room. It has made me question God more than at any other time in my life.  I wish that I was one of those people who could see God in a nice little package when it comes to the orphan crisis.  I envy those people desperately.  But more often than not, I find myself wresting with God about how he can sit up there while so many children are suffering.  And now that we are finished with our foster care training, I find myself asking God how he can create people who are going to one day beat their children, burn them with cigarettes, and then make them sleep in dog cages.  I find myself saying, "God, if you know every move that each of us will make when you knit us together in the secret place, why would you knit together something that could be capable of such evil."  Me and God?  We wrestle a lot. 

I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks because I don't want to question Him.  I know that I serve a big God who has shoulders broad enough to bear it when I question, but I don't want to have those doubts in the first place.  I thought that after years of feeling this way, that I would find some peace but it didn't seem to come. I found that my anger at God over the lack of justice for innocent children and the suffering that children endure daily at the hands of a fallen world served to create an enormous gap between me and my maker.  I couldn't make myself take that leap and I minced words with God more than one about how he didn't seem to be standing in that gap for me.  I heard the cry of the church to serve the widow and the orphan and while I'd focus on that call, I found myself so full of rage that there were even orphans to begin with.  I was constantly taking this to God and hearing nothing.  Not a whisper, not a verse placed on my heart, nothing.  

I told myself it's because I'm a crappy Christian.  I curse too often.  I drank too much in college.  I sometimes talk bad about people.  Sometimes I'm mean to my husband.  Sometimes when my kids say, "Mom, I need a drink" for the four hundredth time, I say, "GEEZ!  CAN'T YOU PEOPLE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE FOR FIVE MINUTES!" instead of parenting them with grace.  I don't always spend my money in a way that reflects my values or God's values.  I find myself saying bad things about the church.  I'm a fallen person.  No wonder God doesn't want to let me in on the secrets of the universe.  Yet, I love God with my whole being. And despite the fact that 99% of the time I'm a crappy Christian, I know that HE sees my heart.  I know that He loves me, not despite my sin, but because of my sin.  He takes it on willingly and without question.  But I just couldn't in my mind reconcile a loving and just God when I measured him against the orphan. 

Then I heard the song.  It's a simple little song.  We used to sing it in youth group when I was a teenager.  I can still remember our youth minister and his wife be-bopping around the room to this little ditty. The words went like this:

Come, and go with  me, to my father's house.
It's a big, big house
With lots and lots of room.
A big, big table
With lots and lots of food.
A big, big yard
Where we can play football (TOUCHDOWN!)
A big, big house
It's my father's house.

As a teenager, that song meant NOTHING to me. Yeah, it was fun to sing.  But going somewhere with enough food?  Or a yard?  I had that here on Earth.  What's the big deal?  I missed out the entire blessing of that simple promise because I couldn't look past my own Earthy abundanceI wonder how many of God's promises I miss out on because in this world of overabundance I'm not forced to rely on Him?

But for the orphan?  For the child foraging for food in the garbage?  For the child watching his mother die slowly and painfully from AIDS?  For the child who can never get beyond the rumbling in their stomach or the cough in their chest to have a day of fun or a day of carefree living? For the child who has never known the nurture of a mother or father?  For that child- this promise is everything.

And all of a sudden, it made sense to me.  THIS is the justice for the orphan. There will be a house with ROOM.  There will be a table with an abundance of food.  There will be play and laughter and community and BELONGING.  And most of all, there will be THE father, claiming EACH child as his own.  That is the justice.  This?  This suffering?  This unimaginable plight of the orphan?   The overwhelming burden that I carry?  That you carry?  It is but a blip in the big picture- a mere speck in the infinitesimal expanse of time.  It doesn't make sense.  It probably won't ever make sense.  But knowing that there is justice for the orphan somehow makes it more manageable to wrap my head around.

I know that this promise is simply the basic message of the gospel.  But I'm a slow learner.  It's taken me a long time to see this message of promise and hope in relation to the orphan. It took a silly kid song for God to finally show me how he is standing in the gap for the fatherless.  There is a beautiful promise.  There is hope.  There is a big, big house- it's my Father's house. There is justice for the orphan.

This photo was taken in February 2010 at an orphanage in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  In all the dozens of times I've combed over my pictures from my time in Congo, I've never noticed this picture of this precious child holding God's promise for her justice.  She has a room prepared just for her.  It's all sparkly and girly and cozy.  It's in my Father's house.  Come and go with me.

Like what you read? Join us on Facebook!
Related Posts with Thumbnails