I have always been quite vocal about my burden for the orphans of the world. It is something I consider in every part of my life. An orphan whose family never steps forward to find him, is affected in profound ways for his entire life. Agencies have remarked how tragic it is for those who age out of the system, as they maneuver throughout the rest of their lives with no family connections. Can you imagine? Not just the absence of parents; perhaps you or someone you know has lived some or much of life without parents, or away from their parents. But consider having no siblings, no grandparents, no aunts or uncles or cousins... Imagine all of those faces in your life, and what they all mean to you, and imagine living life with none of those connections whatsoever. In many countries of the world today, the life of an orphan also carries with it a stigma, and these adults may be disadvantaged and ostracized by society in many ways for the rest of their lives.. The statistic for suicide amongst grown orphans is alarming.
Given these facts, it is mind boggling to me why anyone on earth would choose to orphan themselves. Would anyone choose to have no family? There may be those within families who we may facetiously or not so facetiously be willing to give up… but to willingly and purposefully sever Every. Single. Connection? It would be unfortunate enough to never have relations in life to begin with, but imagine each of the existing relationships in your life simply disappearing forever. And even more inconceivable would be someone who lived a lifetime, deeply loved and cherished by siblings, parents and grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins, who laughed with them, shared holidays and traditions with them, dreamed and debated and grieved with them, someone who made promises and accepted promises made… and then decided to dismiss it all like dust under a carpet. Who orphans themselves?
It is incomprehensible.
To reject and discard the one precious thing that millions of people around the world would – and in many cases do – sacrifice almost anything to have; something that cannot be bought or sold or replicated: a loving family. Even some of the most depraved people with the most dysfunctional and alarming family dynamics, still value those connections enough to hang onto them, even at arm’s length.
What kind of person orphans themselves?
And it is one thing to rob your own self of all these blessings, but to knowingly rob your children of grandparents, and uncles and aunts and cousins? I always say that one of the best things I ever gave my children is each other. They are family, and they revel in the camaraderie and affection of each other. No matter what the beef a person may have with another, who would be so selfish as to bereave their own offspring of these God given blessings? Who would sell their own birthright for a bowl of stew? It is mind boggling.
And perhaps ironically, we step forward and do all we can to bring children in the world to their families, whether it be our family or someone else’s, so they will know the love of a family, and not carry this burden for the rest of their lives. But each and every day my heart deeply grieves for the senseless tragedy of one, who had all that so many others have sacrificed so much to attain, and yet casually and thoughtlessly abandoned it all, without regard for anyone else, and without looking back. Who does that?
Luke 4 --
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. … 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 23 …‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.”