A couple of weeks ago I heard a sermon by Andy Stanley dealing with the subject of losing your religion. He dealt specifically with the question, where is Jesus? He told a story that made me stop listening.
In a certain part of Asia, space is really cramped. Because of space they have a law that states that a Husband and Wife can only have one child. This seems like a crazy rule, but parents have learned to adapt to the strict rules. How do they get around this rule? No, birth control is not in the answer, instead they pick and choose what child they want. I figured that they would just have one kid and be happy, but in a male dominated culture having the right sex of a child is very important. Parents will have a child and if the child is a girl or has some kind of “blemish” they will get rid of it. Plain and simple, you have kids until you have the perfect one. Most of these unwanted kids end up on the streets or in orphanages. Andy Stanley visited one of these orphanages. It was a 7 story high building packed with beds and kids. Upon visiting the orphanage he was taken to the 7th floor, the worst part of the building. This is where they kept all the kids that had been there the longest. These kids have been neglected since birth and have never had someone love them.
I stopped listening to Andy Stanley because I could not fathom this. I could not imagine that anyone lived like this. I stopped listening to him because I was so caught up in the utter sadness of the moment that I didn’t want to do anything at the moment but sit there and be quiet. This was a great problem and it seemed like there was nothing I could do about the suffering and down right awful conditions these children were living in.
I had an idea while I was driving yesterday. What if a church decided to turn there building into an orphanage? Taking in children that are unwanted to live in an a building that sat empty 6 out of the 7 days a week. In my mind I am thinking this is crazy and would never work. Who would watch the kids, how would they eat, who would care for them, what would they do? But my heart was giving it right back to me, the church would take care of these kids, people would volunteer their time to stay and love these kids, they would bring them food throughout the day and these kids would have plenty of room to live inside our mega churches. “But we need to keep the church clean,” my head said to my heart “we need those rooms for Sunday school, we cannot just have kids living in our church building.” But my heart kept on saying “what if we turned the church into an orphanage for the down and out, the ones that no one loves and cares about?”
I do not always hear people talk about doing something radical for the down and out. I do not hear about someone talking about adopting 3oo kids to live in a church. Sure there are tons of details that would need to be worked out, but I am pretty sure that God is a lot bigger than the details. How do I know this, because he makes saints out of sinners.
I leave you with this quote from Soren Kierkegaard”
“God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.”