Sunday, April 10, 2011

Defending the Fatherless

Scripture mandates that we should do a lot for the poor. Here is just a smattering of what the Bible says:
  • Isaiah 58 says we should satisfy the needs of the hungry
  • Psalm 72 says we should have compassion on the poor and the needy and rescue their lives from violence
  • Psalm 74 says we should save the children of the needy
  • Matthew 25 says that we are to give them drink, food, invite them in our homes, care for them when sick, etc.
And Scripture also says in Deuteronomy, we are to "defend the fatherless". After watching Dateline about Vanya from Russia, I had to reflect on what I was doing to DEFEND the fatherless.

Defending, in my opinion, looks different than feeding, clothing, educating, or caring for children. It even looks different than caring for their spiritual needs - to give them a future and a hope.

Defending is a term that conjures up in me a bit of patriotism in fact (wrongly, I credit patriotism for this feeling). It's justice. We, Americans should understand the need for justice over even feeding these kids (after all, isn't our immediate reaction after feeding them is trying to figure out how they can prove themselves in an income generating activity and they can be self-sustaining? aaaahhh, I digress.)

Defending the fatherless is righting the wrong. It is defending the oppressed. It's justice and we like liberty and justice for all.

So what does defending the fatherless look like? I had to think on it and this is what I came up with:

  • It is defending the child whose distant relatives are trying to take away his parents' home.
  • It is defending the children in which the government plans to destroy their home without giving the children an alternative place to live
  • It is standing before an abusive family whom an orphan girl escaped from defending her and securing her legal documentation so she can attend school again.
  • It is telling a neighborhood that they are wrong for telling children they cannot use the public bathrooms and then building those children the "best bathroom in Zeway"
These are examples that I could come up with of how I'm supporting those who defend the fatherless. (And I do feel like supporting those who do the actual defending is how it can all works) It was good for me to reflect over that, not to prove anything about the Zeway Partnership, but because, I believe God, through Scripture, is asking all of us to be a part of caring for the poor and defending the oppressed.

I most certainly want to be a part of God's plan for this.

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