An experience a few days ago pushed me to ask a lot of questions about the reason and mission of my existence. Most people wake up every day with so many complaints about meaningless and nonsense things, while others are on the streets not even knowing if they could wake up another day.
Last Sunday, me and my fellow youths in church visited an orphanage in Antipolo, Rizal. Weeks before the visit, we prepared the things to be given, the program to be presented (including a puppet show), and the prayers we think they needed. So when the day came, we arrived on the orphanage delighted and filled with joy.
Each of us was assigned to a kid that we would accompany the whole day. But unfortunately, I was not assigned with anyone because I’m the person in charge to check that each kid has their own buddy. Well the kids are cute (like me) so it’s all good!
After a few minutes of waiting, one by one, the kids came down from their rooms. But when the first kid showed up, he cried! We don’t know if those were tears of joy or not. But I became interested in this kid. He was just two years old and just three weeks in the orphanage. The newest one. His name is Lawrence.
After the kids settled with their respected buddy-for-the-day, I somehow took care of Lawrence as his buddy hosted the program. Honestly, I had a hard time with this kid. From the moment I came to him, all he did was hug me as he did the whole program. He didn’t want to play, he didn’t even want to watch, he just wanted to hug me. I somewhat became uncomfortable and worried, one because he might pee on me, and another because he seems to be sad. But I just let him be — let him hug me.
So while the others are enjoying, playing, doing their thing, laughing, Lawrence and I were there stuck on the side. But as I carried him and allowed him to embrace me, I somehow felt his pain and his hurt even though he does not say it. Then I thought to myself, when this child grow up and finally understand what his parents had done to him, a scar will forever be in his heart.
And as I ponder more, looking at the other kids smiling, I know deep down in their hearts, they are also hurting. Some are not only abandoned by their parents but are also used and abused as seen from the marks in their arms. And legs, and worst, some of them are traumatized.
These things that happened to them, they neither wanted them nor asked for them. They were just born into the situation and they had to live with it. Realizing all these broke my heart not only because they were orphaned, but because we are all orphaned in one way or another! We all have scars in our hearts caused by harsh realities of life we neither wanted nor asked for — may it be a scar of rejection from parents, betrayal from friends, loneliness from the death of a loved one, emptiness from endless toil, or a scar of helplessness from defeats and disappointments. All of us can relate to orphans. And like them, we crave a way out of this.
So now, I came to God, with this brokenness in my heart and all these thoughts and questions battling in my mind. And with just one sentence, one verse, one simple answer, God hushed me and I looked up to him and said to him, “Thank you Father.” The verse is this:
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, and by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’.”
Oh how refreshing, how mind-blowing to know that the One who created the Universe, who holds everything together so that they all continue to exists, the one who made everything out of nothing, wants to adopt you and be your Father. He wants to be the Father who listens to you, who loves you, who protects you, who provides for you, and who gives you everything you need.
After the puppet show, Lawrence started smiling, laughing, and playing again. I think what made him smile, laugh, and play again is that he felt that he loved again. We all need that kind of love, we all desire for that kind of love, and we will only find that kind of love in God. God desires to adopt us and take us away from the scars of our past to give us a new beginning.
Just listen to his voice, because He might be asking you today, “Will you be my child?”
Story by Mr. Mark Napao