A colleague was recently showing pictures of a trip he had taken to India where he and his daughter worked with street kids. In the group of rag-tag, dirty little kids was a blind two-year old girl. In passing, he mentioned the reason for her blindness: her parents were beggars, and had gouged out her eyes so that she would bring in more money. When the local authorities found out what they had done, the parents dropped her in a trashcan to avoid being caught. Other beggars lifted her out and are taking care of her on the streets of New Dehli.
The horror of this flooded my soul with darkness.
Matthew 6:26 says, â€œLook at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?â€ The scripture calls God our â€œheavenly Father,â€ and in doing so, frames Him as a parent who cares about us and watches over us.
What will this little girl think about her â€œheavenly Father,â€ when she learns that her earthly parents took her eyesight from her for financial gain? Will she have a picture of a God who cares even for birds â€“ let alone for people like her? How will she ever learn of this great love with such a damaged picture of parental love?
I know of only one way. She needs to be shown a love that is so thunderously over-powering that it drowns out the evil intent of her earthly parents. This kind of love can be proclaimed but only by those who back up those proclamations with a hug, a warm cheek pressed against a dirty forehead, something to eat, and tears of sympathy.
As I watched the amateur video clips and photos of this little team working in the most impoverished of slums I saw the young Indian missionary who is leading this charge against the gates of hell. He shared his vision for a day school for these throw-away people and how his team plans to assist with other needs. Pictures of a medical clinic with burlap sack walls attested to his seriousness in loving these people.
Itâ€™s easy to get lost in the emails, travels, teaching, and varied responsibilities of my role here at Pioneers. I praise God that He opened up the curtain for me to reflect on the big picture of what I am a part of â€“ what you are a part of as well. God has chosen to reveal Himself to people through the love and care we show to others. We send missionaries to show this kind of love.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27