1 Out Of 132 Million

1 Out Of 132 Million

Seeking God's help to respond to the global orphan crisis.

132 million.

That is the number of parentless or vulnerable children in the world. In "adoption" minded circles, such as the ones in which my family has become involved, somehow that manages to be an easy figure to throw around. We know about it--we care--we even wear the t-shirt. But what on earth is to be done about it?

We won’t really understand the reality of what it means to be fatherless, or vulnerable, until we see it. Not on a blog. Not on Google Images. Not on the Discovery Channel. We understand when God takes us, and makes apparent to us the “Actual,” as Amy Carmichael was fond of calling it.

What on earth can we do to offset and jostle our apathy?

I was once reminded of Jesus’ command to “deny ourselves, and take up our cross.” (Luke 9:23), in relation to the reality of the orphan crisis. The only way we will learn to see is when we die to our comfort: something that is embedded in our American Dream.

Whenever we step out on the painful, costly waves of self-denial and comfort-denial is when God will entrust us with the life-changing sight of what 132 million means. Understanding what it means doesn’t lie in crunching numbers, but in seeing one. The face of one eternal soul, that has eternal significance.

Within ourselves, we don't have even the capacity to stir ourselves, to leave our comforts, until we are brought to realize how the One who redeemed us that we might no longer be orphans (Gal. 44ff) left His comforts, the highest bliss that exists in all that is, whether divine or earthly (John 1:17). The manner is which this realization is brought about is by our crying out for that Spirit which is responsible for raising in us the Abba Cry (Romans 8:14ff).

When we were orphans, set against the Triune God, that God, in a Trinitarian effort, stooped to do all that was required to adopt us. Once we lay hold of that reality, we are able to lean on the Beloved in order to fulfill His command in Luke 9:23.

Of late, God has given me the opportunity to see what it looks like when the Abba cry is raised in the hearts of His people, and that is manifested in love to the Fatherless: love to one, or three, or a dozen, out of the 132 million.

I was helping some friends from church, and one lady received a call from a social worker regarding a four-year old girl who was needed placing for adoption immediately. Even as we accidentally overheard about it when she answered the phone, another lady exclaimed, “If you don’t want her, I’ll take her.” and I admit that I immediately felt the same.

I mean, this is a little girl. Not a number: a little soul. Who wouldn’t say yes? especially when we consider that the Lover of the souls paid the full price to say, completely, justly, and foolproof-ly, “I will take them. I will adopt them. For Myself.”

We can be grateful that God preparing His Children for missionary living through the rediscovery of the Abba Cry. Let’s deny self, run back to Christ as the only meeting place between God and Man, and pray that he would do so for us, by allowing us to understand His heart to reach out and capture spiritual orphans and rebels, and take them into His eternal family.

Cover Image Credit: Robbie Rowland

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Global Cocoa Solids Market 2018 - Dutch Cocoa, Plot Ghana, Barry Callebaut, Cocoa Processing Company Limited, Indcresa

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Being Busy Does Not Give Your Life Meaning, Having Imaan (Faith) Does

How many of us even care to ask Allah (swt) what He would like to see from us?

Recently, I turned 21, and for the first time ever in my life, I felt that during the 20th year of my life, I truly lived. I experienced so much more than I ever thought I could, but I've been so busy making plans and coming through for them that by the time my 21st birthday rolled around, I realized... I haven't really accomplished my life's purpose. My ultimate life goal is to become a better Muslim, but with each passing day, I have pushed the purpose of my life aside for "new" experiences, like driving to weekly campus events, weekend outings with friends or working hours on end as the Editor-in-Chief of the Alpharetta Odyssey community.

I felt like an independent adult who didn't need anyone or anything. So, unconsciously, I lowered my standards of living in pursuit of these side quests to quench a thirst for fun with whatever pleasure life can offer. But purpose is imbued in ambition and success, so one without the other topples the entire foundation upon which life is structured. I lost sight of my purpose to become a better Muslim, and in turn, my life lost meaning.

There were many points throughout the year that I felt depressed, whether due to personal struggles or external conflicts. These issues went on for quite some time, and I never really resolved them so much as waited for them to somehow resolve themselves. I didn't reach out to Allah (swt) or raise my hands in dua for help, for strength, for guidance, and because of that, I made some decisions stemming from my own crude feelings of inadequacy with situations, myself and others.

I distanced myself from people, because suddenly, there was no clear standard I could confidently judge our relationships by. I busied myself instead, upping my goals for what I wished to accomplish my final years of college but I have yet to follow through all of them despite multiple attempts. I have pushed and prodded myself to overcome silly fears, but I couldn't find a tether of rope to hold onto or any point to direct my feelings at.

I was lost. What was I doing? Why was I doing these things? What was the point? What did any of this accomplish?

Then, I realized, the tether to our lives is Allah (swt). He never let me down all these years, yet since I felt cocky and independent, I loosened my hold on the rope of imaan. And in doing so, I lost myself.

I created lots of memories of little things that have not built me into a better person. I amassed lots of stuff that will be dumped into the trash, sooner or later. I've traveled so many new places yet always left feeling like something was missing. That something is still missing. Every new morning I open my eyes, I continue to feel like my life lacks a purpose, because I've been ignoring the very reason I was born: to love and follow the commands of Allah (swt).

He handpicked where I would be born, which time I would first open my eyes to the world and to whom I would call my mother, father, brother and sister. He has woven fate in my favor, slid chances to repent under my door and has always been present during every ugly and beautiful moment I've experienced. From that, I've realized, all the life moments I have been most attentive and loving of Allah (swt) are the best memories I have. These are the moments I recall when I want to soothe my soul of loneliness or cheer myself on in times of joy. These surmount to the reasons I cling to my imaan desperately in times of need and reach out to grasp it more tightly in times of success.

SEE ALSO: 3 Astronomical Revelations Of The Holy Quran

But, despite that, I have yet to climb higher...

Because as Muslims, we pray five times a day, but how many of us continue to sit after prayer to raise their hands in due and just talk to Allah (swt)?

How many of us go to Allah (swt) first when we have a problem, rather than ranting and backbiting to our friends?

How many of us think of how Allah (swt) would feel about something before we decide to do that thing?

How many of us even care to ask Allah (swt) what He would like to see from us?

Instead, we turn to the physical manifestations besides us. We ask people what they would like to see from us. We change ourselves so others will love and accept us, have fun with us, become close to us. We turn away from Allah (swt) the second we forget our purpose in life.

And what's worse is, we assume because we can't see Him or hear His reply that He's somehow irrelevant. That all the things that make sense because of Allah (swt) don't matter anymore because you don't really care. It doesn't concern you. And then we wonder, why don't I get along with so and so? Why don't I care about this person or that thing? Why does my life look so happy on social media but right after the moment ends, I feel empty and like something is missing?

Your life may look busy and fulfilling from the outside. Your life can be chock-full of amazing people or just a handful of close friends. Your life can be Gucci galore or countryside cottage. Your life can be complex or simple. But either way, each life lived with feel the same: meaningless — without imaan. So don't let go of the tether that ties you to Allah (swt). Hold on tight, and keep pulling yourself close, step by step.

InshAllah, your efforts will pay off.

Allah (swt) says, "For every step you take towards me, I will take 10 towards you. Walk towards me, and I will run towards you. — Hadith Qudsi
Cover Image Credit: WikiMedia

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