Compassion equals involvement.

The definition of compassion is about involvement. To be compassionate means to get out of the boat of our current circumstances and get into the boats of those who are suffering. We are called to bear the burdens of those who are in need of our companionship-to "weep with those who weep"(Romans 12:15) ~Tom Davis

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fields of the Fatherless

Rather than write a review on this book, I thought it would be much better to point out some parts of this book that stand out to me. Things that I felt that God really wanted me to see. I would strongly encourage everyone to read this book, regardless of whether you are considering adoption or not.

"In this world you are an orphan-
eagerly anticipating your adoption as God's child.
In this world you are a widow-
longing for reunion with your Bridegroom.
In this world you are a stranger-
a pilgrim waiting to become a citizen of heaven."

And in this world, God has called you to care for the orphan, the stranger, and the widow.

Fields of the Fatherless is a journey that brings you back to what Christianity is really about:

Giving yourself to others. Being Christ to a hurting world and living for the one that comes next.


I think alot of us have a very limited concept of joy - we tie it to what makes us feel happy. But real joy goes even deeper, and it's not always in obvious places. Instead, it hides in corners, waiting to be discovered when we sacrifice our desires for God's desires.

For a long time, I missed the kind of joy I'm talking about. Then I stumbled into some fields filled with treasure: the Fields of the Fatherless. There I discovered what was really on God's heart, and I was stunned. It changed my life forever.


If you searched the Bible from front to back, you'd find many issues close to God's heart. But you'd also notice three groups of people coming up again and again. They appear so many times, in fact, you have to conclude that God mentions them purposely to make sure they are at the top of the priority list.

Scripture mentions the importance of caring for these individuals more than sixty times! Clearly, the protection and well-being of the group are one of God's great and constant concerns. So much so, in fact, He actually defines Who He is by His promises to them.

Consider His promise to provide:

"A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
God sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity.
(Psalm 68:5-6)


When you think about God's church, it is extrememly important not to picture it as an institution surrounded by walls. The church consists of people who represent the physical body of Christ on the earth. We put flesh to His words and make Him alive to those who are desperate to know He is real.

Unfortunately, ministering in the fields of the fatherless hasn't been as much of a priority to the church in recent years as it has been throughout history. Today, many well-intentioned believers have lost sight of what God cares about most. The fact is, we put most of our energy into improving what is inside the four walls of our churches rather than bringing in the harvest that is outside.

A good friend once said to me. "If the fields are white for harvest, why do we spend all of our money on painting the barn?"

Ministry to Christ's body is important, but when we don't balance it with legitimate attempt to care for the fatherless in our communities and around our world, something has gone dreadfully wrong.

A 2001 Barna Research Group poll revealed a telling statistic: evangelical Christians are less likely to give money and assistance to AIDS-related causes. Only 3 percent of evangelicals say they plan to help with AIDS internationally as opposed to 8 percent non-Christians.


God promises that if we take care of the needs of the fatherless, whatever we put our hand to will be blessed: our work, the home we build, and the relationships we hold, even the families we lead. When we pay attention to the treasures of God's heart, we put ourselves in a position of blessing.


God always provides when we desire to help! Proverbs promises that "he who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given." Proverbs 19:17


The truth might surprise you. You see, God doesn't consider our caring response to the plight of the needy as optional or as a nice gesture. In fact, He sees a loving response to this group as a complete and pre-ordained human right-a legal right backed not by an earthly court but by the very halls of heaven!

So to deprive the fatherless of justice doesn't simply mean that you deny them a proper hearing in court. It means not welcoming them in to your home, not helping them when they are cold and hungry, not listening when they cry out. In other words, the sure way to deprive the poor of the justice due them is to do nothing!

The apostle John goes so far as to suggest doing nothing is proof that God's love doesn't abide in us:

"But whoever has this world's goods , and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?" 1 John 3:16-17


Compassion equals involvement.

The definition of compassion is about involvement. To be compassionate means to get out of the boat of our current circumstances and get into the boats of those who are suffering. We are called to bear the burdens of those who are in need of our companionship-to "weep with those who weep"(Romans 12:15).


We are afraid of changing what we've always done. Our lives have become comfortable and manageable. If loving the stranger, the widow, and the poor have never been a part of our lives in the past-even if we know it should be-it's much easier to keep on living the way we always have.


I am reminded of a parable where Jesus asks us to: "Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Luke 14:23


What is it that fear may be robbing from you? What kind of adventures in the kingdom of God could you be experiencing right now?

It could be that you don't have the money-or maybe it's time you don't have to spare? It doesn't matter what the reason is, it's still fear that keeps you from being who God wants you to be. The most important question you have to ask yourself is: Am I fulfilling the life I know I am called to live? Am I living my destiny?


Because you saw the face of Jesus in the face of the lost and lonely, God will see His Son in your eyes.

Because you cared most about what He cares most about-God will recognize you as His faithful partner.

And because you made every effort to express in simple ways the Father's love, the smallest deeds you did for the least of these will count greatly for all eternity.~