I was thrilled when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was elated when a few months later, I gave birth to my daughter. I learned a lot about God’s love through being a parent. Soon after, I was excited when God gave me the opportunity to serve Him in children’s ministries in my church. I learned about God’s tenderness by serving in the nursery, I found out about God’s patience in potty-training toddlers, I understood God’s playful side when I organized games for elementary kids. In mentoring my own and other people’s kids during their teen years, I discovered God’s compassion and care over the awkward and stretching times of the journey to maturity. I’ve appreciated seeing the world through the eyes of children: full of wonder, excited about discovery, yet simple and pure. But children can be overlooked as an important population.
Jesus had a special place in his heart for children. When the disciples tried to keep the children in the crowd away from him, he said, “Let the little children come unto me.” Jesus loved children and included them in His ministry. Remember the little boy who Jesus asked to share his small lunch – through the boy’s faith, Jesus fed 5,000 people. Many children are overlooked and forgotten, among these are the children in the orphanages of India, Romania and Africa. My heart has been broken by these overlooked, neglected and abandoned lives. When my husband was killed in a motorcycle accident several years ago, I realized then my very own children were like orphans. I thanked God for His presence in their lives as their Father.
Who are the ‘least of these in your world of most?” Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom and at this very moment, you feel overwhelmed with the care of your children. This too shall pass. It helps to think of your children as opportunities to watch God work and develop His big plans for your little ones. We can involve our own children in caring for the needs of other children who have less than we do. Our own city has women and children’s shelters, homeless shelters and a children’s home who welcome donations and visits from those who chose to care. We need not go all the way to Romania, India or Africa to find these little ones. Loving the least of these in our world of most purifies our love and specifies our service, allowing our focus to attempt to meet the needs of others. James 1:27 reminds us, “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress.”
“Dear Father, thank you for your love for children, thank you for showing us, Lord Jesus, how to love the least and help us to love the orphan and the overlooked in our world with your love. Amen”