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Defending Those Who Can’t Help Themselves

August 7, 2009

The summer before my junior year in college I went to Guatemala with a team of students at Liberty. During the first month all of us stayed at a small orphanage in a town called Llano Verde. Not only did we stay with a few orphans, but we visited several orphanages on the weekends. I remember the pain I felt in my heart for those babies whose parents had abandoned them. It was also difficult to only have one day to play with them and love on them and then say “goodbye”. But I knew I was not only sent there for those babies, but for my own sake. To realize what was at stake and how I could play a part in helping those who cannot help themselves. Even after I had gone away.

As Christ followers, we’re called to help the poor and needy in their distress. This is not an “oh I will do it one day.” But an action that is required of us now- whether it’s to a neighbor in great physical or spiritual need, a young girl or boy who is fatherless, a widow who’s experiencing great loss, or actually going overseas to help orphans and those in poverty. Jesus invited the poor, the broken, the lost, those who smelled, those who lied, those who hated him… all to sit and dine with him. He was never too “good” for anyone and didn’t care where they’d come from. The invitation remains for us today.

Lately, I’ve been realizing all the more that I am really broken. I am no better than the homeless guys I see huddled under the bypass on 75 every morning. God’s grace is the only thing that holds me today.

This 50 second video (from Francis Chan’s blog) reminded me of our responsibility to defend those who cannot help themselves. To visit them in their distress and bring the love of Christ to them. How can you not just want to wrap your arms around them and take them home?

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

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. S.L. permalink
    August 7, 2009 4:37 pm

    Wow Samantha,
    Please excuse me for commenting 2 days in a row. This post really struck a chord with me this morning! Candidly, I have been struggling with this same issue as of late. Notice I said struggling and NOT that I have overcome it. I am ashamed to say that I walk right past those who need my help the most. Worse yet…I pretend subconsciously that I don’t even see them. Too busy playing Christian and being religious I guess. I can’t help but wonder what kind of example I am for my wife and children? I posted a poem on my site in July entitled ‘Masquerade’. I wrote it because I too felt broken and convicted about my actions regarding my inaction regarding this issue. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

    Dean

  2. August 7, 2009 4:47 pm

    Comment all you’d like. I appreciate your honesty. I know all of us can relate to your words too. I probably didn’t mention in the post that it’s a daily struggle for me too. I can’t say at the moment that I am investing in these things but it’s my prayer that God will bring my family something that we can tangibly do. A lot of my friends and I talk about how hard it is passing the homeless on the street- and the different attitudes we have at times like “they’re mentally messed up” or “they deserve it.” God is really trying to show me a lot when it comes to that attitude as well. I will check out your poem.

    Does anyone have an experience of their own in helping those who can’t help themselves? (in big and small ways)

  3. August 7, 2009 8:33 pm

    Lovely post, Samantha!

  4. Stella permalink
    August 7, 2009 9:05 pm

    We too feel we are doing God’s work, by helping youngsters, please see the link >

    http://about-orphans.blogspot.com

    πŸ™‚

  5. August 7, 2009 9:20 pm

    Hey Samantha – here in downtown San Francisco I see so many wandering around near my office. A few months ago I had gone down to grab some oatmeal in the AM, when I could sense a tug on my heart. When I walked out with the oatmeal, there was a homeless man sitting on a bench in the plaza outside my building. I started walking back to my building, but the “pressure” on my heart continued to build…until I turned around and handed the oatmeal to that homeless man, who graciously accepted the meal.

    I actually didn’t go back to get another oatmeal…and it was clear Who was telling me to give away the oatmeal.

  6. August 10, 2009 6:55 pm

    Andy- Love that story about the oatmeal. You probably would have never guessed you would give your breakfast away, huh?

    Recently, a homeless man approached my husband at the gas station wanting money. My husband instead took him to Taco Bell (I was a little nervous hearing he did that) and bought him a burrito and shared the gospel with him.

    It was neat to hear him meet a need like that especially since being a woman, I wouldn’t be able to meet it quite like that. πŸ™‚

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