The One
By Craig Dinsmore on July 13th, 2012

Are you stuck in the stats of orphans and the fatherless? If you have ever thought something like, “So many children in need all over the place—there is obviously too much need for my limited resources to make a difference. Surely this is a larger Church and governmental responsibility.” This is what I call being “stuck in the stats.” Jesus has a solution for this.

As I stare at the statistics of my country (400,000+ in foster care, 100,000+ adoptable, 35 percent of all births are to single women), and then at the stats of the population of the earth (over 150 million orphans), my heart sinks—this is obviously too big for me. But I cannot escape the burning in my heart for these abandoned ones. Knowing that I am adopted as a son of God, with full rights and amazing eternal promises, my heart aches for them. I feel like a kid who’s Dad owns everything. I want to run around looking for others who can join the family and share in the overflowing wealth. But my life is busy, full of family and work. How can I possibly make a difference to all these kids?

When Jesus speaks of children, He has a common theme that is stunning to me. He speaks of the one. He makes it clear that it is not the Father’s will that one of these little ones should perish (Mt. 18). That if we give a cup of water to one, if we embrace one, if we do anything for one of the least of these, then we have done it unto Him. He goes on to give warning about not despising one, or causing one to stumble. He says that the angels of every one of the children behold the face of God. Moreover, in Isaiah 57:15, God says He dwells “with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit.” His very presence is with each one,  and He is attentive to them, every one of them.

We don’t need to be “stuck in the stats.” He has made a way to make an impact through just one. His yoke is easy and his burden light. He is asking us to reach out to the one.  He doesn’t ask us to reach the thousands, just the one. Now, that sounds somewhat possible to me. But how? Where is this one? What does this look like for me in my season of life? It’s not like I live in a place where they are out on my street, and I can just go give one a meal, or bring one home.

When I thought of this, I made a dangerous proposition to the Lord. I took a deep breath and said, “Okay, if You will show me the one, I will ask You what You want me to do.” That single prayer has launched me into a marvelous journey to the heart of God. Obedience in caring for the one has not been easy. It is expensive, heart wrenching, time consuming, and messy. But as an adopted son of God, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18). I am experiencing the abundance of His comfort (2 Cor 1:5) and my heart is overflowing with love and joy as I follow His lead.

James 1:27 clearly states God’s desire that we visit the widow and the orphan in their distress. What could that look like for you? Is it opening your home? Helping with resources or finances? Mentoring? Fostering? Adopting? Are there foster/adoptive families in your community that could use your help? Is there a lonely kid next door that could use a friend—to whom you can show the heart of God?

If you do pray to be shown what you can do for the one, pay attention to what or who the Lord brings to your mind, and who or what is brought into your life that week. Then take action. I believe He waits for us to ask the dangerous questions. It’s a costly question, and it will set your entire life on a new direction into His heart. Know this, that whatever you believe He leads you to, you can have confidence that what you do to one of the least of these you are doing unto Him. Ask Him.

Craig Dinsmore has been president of the Orphan Justice Center since June 2011. He and his wife, Linda, and 9 children (2 by adoption and 7 biological) live in Kansas City, where he has been on staff at the International House of Prayer since 2006.


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