As a mom of two littles, I rarely get moments of silence. Our lives are filled with both the sounds of toddler joys and all of their demands for attention. But today, in the middle of the afternoon during a long nap (God bless ‘em), the house went silent. In the stillness, I had a moment to recognize that I was hungry. I’m not the kind of girl who forgets to eat. I love food. I crave all kinds of yummy stuff, like chocolate, olives and velveeta. Now, I’m not saying there hasn’t been times that I’ve ignored hunger because I’m too busy feeding my littles to get a bite for myself off of my own plate. But this, no this, was a hunger for something that is much easier to ignore. I was hungry for the presence of God.
I have this huge window in my apartment that overlooks the city of Quito, and in the middle of the afternoon the light that streams in is warm, inviting, and sometimes nearly blinding. On today, it was warm and cozy like a fuzzy fleece blanket. So I grabbed my Bible and I began to read.
I believe that God speaks to us through His word, fills up us, and feeds us manna from heaven through the written word on the pages of His Holy book. As I paced the floor, holding my Bible, reading through the passage, I soaked up the sun streaming through my window, and I noticed that my body was swaying. As if I was holding one of my children, trying to comfort them, speaking to them softly, calming them down. And it was as if God himself was swaying with me, comforting me, speaking softly through His written Words, calming me down. Feeding me at His breast. Holding me close. THE PRESENCE OF GOD FILLED ME.
It was just what I needed, craved for, longed for. Rarely have time for. And my hunger was satiated. My soul stopped screaming for attention, because I had His.
My mom is visiting Quito. With her cancer and its advancing effects, her lung capacity is diminished. She has coughing fits. And the altitude here in the Andes, has been difficult for her. Unless by some miracle her lungs improve, this will be her last visit to our home here. It’s hit me hard. Having my mom visit me for the final time has really hammered home my need to be fully aware of the moment. Not to miss the preciousness of life. Her presence fills my days and fills my heart.
I took her to one of the orphanages in which we minister. And we held babies. Together, we rocked them and spoke softly to them. We comforted them and told them of the love of their heavenly father. We visited them. I got to see my mom hold little baby orphans and my heart was filled. We were sitting on the floor rocking orphan babies together. The beauty of the moment was not un-lost on heaven. I had been holding one for a while. He had snuggled into me, but there were others who had not yet been held. So I put him down, and he began to wail: a pitiful, deep cry that welled up from within. The cry of an orphan is unlike the cry of a child with a family. An orphan cries with no expectation. An orphan cries almost to himself, knowing that his cry will go unanswered most of the time. He cried, and I had to leave him on the floor, under a colorful mobile in order to hold another. I left his cry unanswered. I couldn’t give him the comfort of my arms any longer. I withdrew my presence from Him. He continued to cry. We eventually left the room, and moved on to love on some other children in the facility.
Jesus said in John 14:18, I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.
People ask me all the time, how I can do what we do. It’s a funny question to me, one that has no right answer. I truly think at the core of what they want to know, is something like, how can you love the orphans and see their deep need without it hurting you so deeply that it makes you want to turn away and ignore it?
To ignore them, their hurt, and the reality of the orphan crisis in Ecuador is to purposely withhold my presence. I know that my presence brings them comfort.
True religion is visiting the orphan and the widow in their distress. James 1:27
While I am in the orphanages, and when people like you come to love the orphans, the physical presence of God is there with them.
We are, after all, the hands and feet of He who promised to come to the orphan.
Come and be present with them. Wrap your heart up in the moment of a life of an orphan. Let your arms be their comfort. Maybe it’s exactly what you’ve been hungering for as well.
Contact us to set up your next visit. Don’t hesitate. Let the hunger in your gut move you to act. Hold an orphan for 30 seconds, and that deep hunger that you’ve been ignoring will begin to be filled. Join us in the ministry to orphans in Ecuador.