Monday, October 12, 2009

The Silence of the Orphans

This is my planned communion meditation for this coming Sunday at the Contact Church.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a radio interview of a man who traveled with his wife to Russia in order to adopt a couple of young boys in an orphanage.

When the couple arrived, they were shocked at what they saw: a rundown and windowless building needing numerous repairs and fresh paint, packed with young children and a sparse staff. They were most surprised by the sounds of the orphanage...actually, by the lack of sounds in the institution. Despite the large number of children, there were no cries.

You see, the orphanage was so understaffed that the employees did not have time to pay attention to crying infants. Eventually, the babies had learned that no one would pay attention to their needs. So they stopped crying. They suffered in silence, growing accustomed to feeling ignored and unloved.

After spending a few days at the orphanage with the two boys they were working to adopt, the couple noticed something both surprising and refreshing as they prepared to leave. The boys started reaching out for them and crying. "At that point," the father said, "we knew that we had connected with the boys. They had felt our love. They had become our boys."

The Bible describes Christians as adopted children of God who have learned to cry out to our Father in heaven. We have learned that our Father hears our cries and meets our needs, just like those Russian orphans had learned that their new parents cared about them. As the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:15, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, 'Abba! Father!'" (English Standard Version).

How do we know that God loves us, his adopted children? Because a few sentences later, Paul wrote, "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32, English Standard Version).

He saw our greatest need, our need for salvation, and he met it. As we take the Lord's Supper today, we remember how Christ heard our silent cries and met our greatest need.


Tim Archer said...

Beautiful illustration! That's a powerful story.

Grace and peace,
Tim Archer

Terry said...

Thanks, Tim. I was struck by the story when I heard it, too. I thought it went well with Romans 8 as I thought more about it.