Orphan

“No, I will not abandon you as orphans – I will come to you (John 14:18 NLT).” I met James in front of a church service in the middle of the CHOP, Capitol Hill Occupied Protest. The church was holding a nightly prayer service and handing out coffee. Their doors were wide open with a sign that said, “The love of Jesus is for everyone, and so are the bathrooms.” The people living in the park across the street felt welcomed. James told us that he loves to read the Bible and asks me what I think of the Beatitude’s. The church couldn’t find a Bible to give him. I went to my car and returned with a pocket New Testament! James was excited, “It also has the Psalms! I don’t have a backpack, so this is the perfect size!”

A woman named Sally strikes up a conversation about astrology. She tells me that she was born when the moons and stars aligned. She brings up the three wiseman. I sing westward leading still proceeding. Guide us to your perfect light. We talk about the promise God gives Abraham in Genesis, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have (Genesis 15:5).” She is a riot and soon her friends come over and join us.

A homeless man comes into the prayer time and prays for our peace and safety. He uses a walker and can barely stand. “God has always provided for me. I am still alive and able to thank him for everything he has done for me.” He pats me on the arm and tells me to “be careful, the police are on their way.”

One of the volunteers asks James if he grew up going to church. James tells us that he went to Sunday school with his adopted family.  As an orphan he met God and found him to be a loving father to the fatherless. “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children (Romans 8:15).”

People on the street have profound insight into the God who cares for the orphan and the widow. The Old Testament is a guide for relational responsibility. “Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows (Deuteronomy 27:19).” Jesus provides justice by sharing God the Father with all of us. “The love of Jesus is for everyone, and so are the bathrooms.”

Michael Cox

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