Defend The Fatherless
One of my favorite things in the whole world to watch is Jian playing defense. Something comes alive in her when she rolls out onto the court, and as a result, something comes alive inside of me too. Watching her “turn it on” and push as quickly as she can with singular focus is inspiring. When she is playing defense, she is on a mission. Give her a job, and she will execute it with urgency, speed, fierceness, and a “never give up” attitude.
What takes my breath away equally as much is the fact that Jian is no respecter of persons. I have watched her effectively defend Paralympians, the number one recruit in the nation, males twice her age and athletes triple her size. To her, they are all the same. “Eh…no one was stopping her, so I decided I would,” she shrugs.
“…Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” Acts 10:34-35
I have been thinking lately about the concept of “defending the fatherless.” I have read the verses many times before, but never really zeroed in on that word “defend” until recently.
- to resist an attack made on someone; to protect from harm or danger
- to conduct the case for the party being accused
- to drive danger or attack away from
- to maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism
In the adoption process, the real work begins after the child comes home. And just like Jian’s defense in basketball, there is nothing mild or passive about defending the fatherless. It involves educating, advocating, and sometimes clawing your way down a path that has never before been paved. Perhaps while being told that it is not possible for you to be the person to pave it. But still you plow ahead, because you know that the outcome of their very lives depends on it.
Defend the weak and fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed. Psalm 82:3
A little girl with special needs from China
A boy born deaf in Uganda
A baby in the foster care system
A sibling group being raised by a single mom
A girl whose father chooses alcohol over their family
A boy whose father was taken too soon from this earth
Those in the category of the “fatherless” carry a burden that I believe only others in the same category can truly understand. And if you do fall into that category, there is nothing like learning about a heavenly Father who never leaves. One who is always good; who is truth and love and light.
And then your heart begins to ache for the Fatherless.
A grocery store clerk
He sent His son to die for each one. So now it is our mission to share this good news. With speed and urgency and focus. Without being a respecter of persons. Because we know that their eternal lives depend on it.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20