Thursday, July 14, 2016

This, That and The Other

Often our lives are made up of having a little longing for THIS or being a little offended about THAT or complaining a little about the OTHER. Being dissatisfied about THIS, THAT or the OTHER.

I’m guilty. Sometimes I have a longing for something on my bucket list. I was offended when an online merchant deceived me. My yard has ruts in it from when my yard man mowed way too low. I deserve to feel all these dissatisfied emotions about THIS, THAT or the OTHER. Or do I?

Then comes a reality shake-up on really what matters. Heaven met earth when my Life Group and I headed to James Mission on Tuesday Night to take a look at their operations. We thought they may be a good outreach ministry that we could volunteer for and support.

James Mission, here in Tulsa and Nowata, is all about restoring hope through God’s love by providing resources, encouragement and support to orphans, foster and displaced families. What started in their home, is now their own location at the Resource and Visitation Center. The visitation rooms give biological parents and their children a safe and friendly environment for their visits together. And their newest project is Loads of Love for those children who are removed from their home for various reasons, and all the things they hold dear (favorite toys, books, clothes and keepsakes, etc.) are left behind – sometimes forever. This “on-call” delivery of filled suitcases & bags for kids who are newly placed into Emergency Foster Care helps soothe the pain these kids face..

We saw their many tubs of neatly folded “like-new” or new clothes arranged according to ages and sizes. We saw loads of diapers, toys, Bibles, toiletries – all the things that help that precious child feel loved in spite of their unfortunate circumstances.

Love and compassion built James Mission. The Reyes, foster and adoptive parents themselves, run this ministry because of their undaunted love and care for needy children. Marisa, their own foster, and now “adopted” daughter, was our guide and it was easy to see how what was meant for her demise, became the vehicle that brought love and care (a hope and a future) from the Reyes family. After moving three times in foster homes and a youth shelter for over a year, Marisa met the Reyes family. Marisa says "After about eight months of living with such a great foster family, I was adopted in February, 2015. Their love for me reminds me that I was chosen, special, and loved. I now have three brothers, a sister and two dogs. My family means more than you could ever imagine and I couldn’t have done better for myself without them."

Our Life Group has already determined to be a part of James Mission because we hold dear God’s Word that says in James 1:27 “The worship that God wants is this: caring for orphans and widows who need help and keeping yourself free from the world's evil influence. This is the kind of worship that God accepts as pure and good.”

In the light of so many needs all around us, we’ll find those who LONG a warm bed and a family that loves them. If any have the right to be offended by negligent family members, and have reasons to complain about their mistreatment, these precious children do. How can I justify longing, being offended or complaining for those really non-vital issues in my world. I know God expects more from us. He expects us to be His hands extended to a hurting world. He expects us to be a light in the darkness to the hurting: THIS child. THAT broken-hearted widow. The OTHERS who are just a hug away from our making a difference in their lives. Indeed THE WORSHIP God wants from us is loving, caring and helping His children – those who can’t help themselves.

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." Matthew 25:35