Remember the Orphans

Les laughs at me for anthropomorphizing just about everything—the poor dinner plate at the bottom of the stack that never gets used, the soft soap bottle we’re trying to throw away (I called her Dee Spencer), always my laptop. Now I’m doing it with my blog.

I imagine it feeling orphaned. After all, I haven’t posted since the day after Christmas. I haven’t totally forgotten about it. In fact, I’ve spent the time reading books about social marketing and blogging. That has led in part to the paralysis of analysis. All the instructions are so overwhelming; I don’t think I can do it “right,” so I’ve done nothing.

I’ve felt guilty about it. I know I should be blogging. But I am tired. Life is busy. I’m distracted by problems  (and pleasures) in my own life. Tomorrow, I say, tomorrow I will blog. Tomorrow comes and goes, and no blog gets written yet again. My blog is orphaned.

When it comes to orphaned children, I often respond the same way I felt about my blog. I get busy, or I feel overwhelmed. It’s not that I’ve forgotten that there are millions of orphans in the world. In November I went to the Mid-Atlantic Orphan Summit and heard many outstanding speakers talk about the plight of orphans here and abroad.

One of the keynote speakers was Tom Davis, CEO of Children’s HopeChest, which helps 10,000 orphans in Russia, Swaziland, Ethiopia, and Uganda. I bought two books Davis wrote. Scared is the fictional story of Stuart, a photojournalist, who gets wrapped up with Adanna, an orphan in Swaziland. Davis hauntingly captures both Stuart’s ambivalence and helplessness and Adanna’s dreams and resignation. Scared places you in the middle of the orphan crisis and helps you think through your own response.

Davis’s nonfiction Fields of the Fatherless talks of God’s heart for the orphan and gives us ideas on what we can do to help. It gives us the analysis, but then shows us how to move beyond our own paralysis.

I don’t need to anthropomorphize orphans. They’re already humans, beloved children of God. I also don’t need to feel guilty, and I don’t need to be paralyzed. I simply need act, just like I took care of my orphaned blog by writing this post. You can do something too. Visit the Engage page at Children’s HopeChest to find out what you can do in 5 minutes (pray!) or with $5 (feed a child 50 meals). Then do something (maybe read one of Davis’s books). The orphans are waiting.


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