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From a Dead Root
By Katie Conely on May 2nd, 2012

Fatherless—a state of being; a branch from a dead root; a bereaved person; lonely
(Strong’s Concordance, H3490)

Many know the statistics of fatherlessness in our nation. We know that it plays a major role in gang violence, teen pregnancy, suicide, drug abuse and distribution, and even sex trafficking (some statistics of fatherlessness >>). We know that it’s bad, that it’s prominent, that we ought to do something about it—we donate money towards causes that look legitimate, we pray when we remember we ought to, we try to not avert our eyes from the problem.

Still—even with all of these good and conscientious things we can do that are legitimately helpful, even with the burden for the orphan weighing heavily on our hearts, we are able to totally separate ourselves from those who need comfort. We picture Oliver Twist or Sarah, from The Little Princess when we think of the orphan—or worse still, “the orphan” becomes a faceless generalization.

I was asked to write about “fatherlessness,” and have discovered that I barely have an idea of what that really means. I can read articles and study statistics, look hard at the psychology of a child without a father—but to what child will that bring comfort? What child will know they are seen and heard and loved? A specific person, with a face and thoughts, a personality, attitudes, hopes—a branch from a dead root, a bereaved person, lonely.

Where are the children we can reach? In our churches, our neighborhoods, hopping our fences and cutting through our back yards. What can we do when this problem seems so large and unstoppable—so overwhelming? Go find the orphan—bring the justice that acts and comforts right to their faces.

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May 2nd, 2012
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