Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mom, was I an orphan? (This Christmas)

I've enjoyed music from Toby Mac for quite some time.  My kids think he's cool because he's adopted some of his kids, so they get excited whenever his music comes on.

He has a song called "This Christmas" that I've loved since before we had kids - and I still feel the same way.

You can listen to it here, lyrics are also posted.

I'm quite positive we listened to *"This Christmas (Joy To The World) last year, but I guess the kids weren't paying attention, because when the song came on, and they heard that Johny was spending his first night in a real home, they sat straight up and listened to it carefully.

At the end of the song, one of the boys looked up at me and said, "Mom, was I an orphan?"

As I choked on my coffee, I mentally scrambled to think through how to answer that one.

"Well," I started slowly (while still thinking), "an orphan is a child where both parents have died. But I think the verse in the song talks about orphans as being children in distress.  Kids who need help.  And I think you were a child who needed help."

They quietly took that in.

"However," I continued, "It's ok to be a child in distress, or an orphan, or a widow.  It means that you will have gone through some extra-tough things while here on earth, but it also means you have an incredibly special place in God's heart."

They started to perk up.

"God doesn't put lots of verses in the Bible saying, 'Be especially careful to show love to the successful man in the business suit,' or 'make sure to take care of the healthy family with 3 children.'  The Bible talks hundreds of times about caring for orphans, and widows, and people in distress.  That's because they have such a special place in God's heart."

"So, do you mean like poor people," one of the kids asked, "because I was definitely one of those."

"Yes, God cares very much about poor people."

"Mom," the other one started, "So you're saying that God really has a special place in his heart for me?"

I looked over at him and saw he had tears gathering in his eyes, and nodded.

"Remember, we talked about the verse where God says he sets the lonely people in families," I reminded them.

"Yeah," he said.  "That's what God did with me." And with a small tear still in his eye, he looked up at me and said, "Mom, I'm so glad it's my second Christmas being home with my family."

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families
             -Psalm 68:5-6a
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