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Why Do We Weep?
By Kinsey Thurlow on March 19th, 2012

What really makes Christians who care for orphans different from those outside the Church who care for orphans? Prayer and living in intimacy with Jesus must be primary for every person and ministry who is reaching out to the fatherless. This, and only this, is what makes Christian orphan care different from what the world is doing for orphans. The difference between Christian and non-Christian orphan care must be drastically different. When Christians care for the fatherless, it must be more than using Biblical language and putting Bible verses on brochures and websites. The core must truly be Jesus.

Recently, I was preparing to share about the fatherless to a mission’s organization. I was wrestling with the idea of talking to this group, not because I didn’t have things I wanted to say, but because I wanted it to be much more than me talking about a very moving issue. There are some potential pitfalls with any justice issue because it is the tendency of all men to move in their own strength. Because these justice issues, including the subject of the fatherless, have good potential of stirring one’s emotions, it can be very easy for us to move into human sentiment and zeal. Even unbelievers in secular arenas have a voice out against human trafficking and are building schools and homes for orphans. But truly, if Jesus is not at the core of our ministry, it is not true justice.

Feeling the weight of this as I prepared to share with this group of believers, I wasn’t after merely stirring people’s sentiment. I wanted something much deeper, because I knew that God wanted something deeper. After talking with my husband, we decided to shorten my talk with this group, and instead devote some of the time to prayer and intercession. To my great joy, the leadership of the ministry, not knowing of my intended plans, asked me to do just this. They asked me to lead a prayer meeting! I shared a little, and then we prayed. We lifted up the fatherless before the throne in heaven, asking Him to break our hearts for them. We entered into the place of prayer together, and the Father of the fatherless drew us into His heart and gave us a taste of what He feels. And some did begin to weep, not because I prodded their emotions, but because they went to this place of prayer and met God’s heart.

Yes, weep over the fatherless. But why do we weep? Why do even the unbelieving weep over orphans, trafficked victims, and starving children? Why do people bring orphaned children into their homes?

The reason we weep, the reason we put our hands to the crises around us, is more important than can rightly be expressed in writing. God is looking for much more than our tears and our reach to doing something “good” in our fallen world. He wants to bring us into the very burden of His heart. We need His vision, and if we are not praying, we do not have it. Being a part of a church’s orphan ministry can’t even give it to us. No one can tell it to you or describe it to you in writing. It is deeper than words, and attempting to put it into words only seems to lessen its weightiness. We have to go get it ourselves, and we can only find it in prayer.

God has called us to do everything in partnership with Him. How can we partner with Him unless we are talking to Him? Our vision will remain too small and our ability to bring true justice hindered unless our effort to minister to the fatherless is born out of an intimate prayer partnership with Jesus. God wants to do something that is beyond our own ability, something not fueled by our human zeal and sentiment, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Even more than loving orphans and setting them in families, God wants to save a fatherless generation and raise them up as apostles, worshippers, preachers, teachers, missionaries, and lovers of Jesus who will give their allegiance to Him all of their lives.

Thus, as I have shared with others before, I say again now to all of us, trembling. If we are not consistently committed to a lifestyle of going deeper in intimacy with Jesus through His Word and through prayer, we need to wait on orphan ministry, and really any ministry. We cannot build our ministry on Him if our inner lives are not built on Him. So let’s give ourselves to setting Jesus as the first place in our hearts and lives, and may His love overflow from us in our ministry to others.

 

Kinsey Thurlow

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