Lately I’ve been thinking about those who went to Africa and met so many orphans. Orphans to whom books, shoes, school, soccer balls are treasures. In many cases kids who had to become heads of households. And I use the term “households” loosely, since many have no homes.
I have been wondering how it would feel to have no one to belong to. Having to go from place to place begging for food, searching, hoping for kindness from strangers.
What did I do to deserve living here in this place, with all my relatives trailing behind me on both sides. I know who I am because of all the stories passed down from one to another. Someone decided it was important to remember, so records were kept. Somehow on the dusty prairie of North Dakota, pictures were taken…..and from that, a colorful quilt of heritage was woven warmly around me.
I can scarcely imagine what it took for my Great-great Grandpa Jakob to pack up his family and flee from Russia. I wonder what wonderful things he heard about America. He must have held that dream for a better life until he could hold it no longer and then they all set sail across the water. My Grandmother at six months old almost didn’t make it.
On my Dad’s side they hailed from England close to where Robinhood and his band of merry men hung out. I have seen pictures of Lincolnshire, its stunning. They must have had some motivation to leave and start a Blacksmith shop in America. It couldn’t have been easy.
All this to say that they had a choice. They had somewhere to flee to. Somewhere to go. And as a result, I have a place of belonging. I know who I am and where I come from, it’s humbling. Because others have been robbed of something they never knew they had.
If I had one thing to say to those precious little ones I would say this. Once upon a time you had a Mom and a Dad. And they had stories, talents, things that made them unique in all the world. You had Aunties and Uncles too and they all had gifts which they passed down to you, even though you may not have known them. I am so sorry you never knew them, that you never got to see that tapestry they might have woven into your life.
That you will never have the luxury of complaining about your family and how they drive you crazy.
But here’s the thing. You do have a family. A heritage, and its one with Royal blood lines. And you are part of it. You have a Father in Heaven who loves you even more than your real Mama and Daddy ever could have.
And in the meantime, I hope all the people here and now who are wrapping their arms around you will let a little hope leak through to let you know you are you are very much not alone. And that you can dreams and that maybe they can even come true.
“Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds……rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing…….Psalm 68:4-6
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