All You Need Is…

6 Jul

“Give us this day our daily bread.”  Have you ever prayed the Lord’s Prayer before you eat a meal because it included this phrase?   These seven words of the prayer are more than a generic catchall for mealtime.  There are deeper facets, critically important for defending the fatherless.  But let’s start on the surface first.  Eating.  For many orphans, there is a tragically horrific lack of it.   One child dies every five seconds from hunger.  While not all of these deaths are orphans a majority are.  Death may even be merciful compared to the consequences of living the anguished life of those suffering from constant severe malnutrition.   People who have always had MORE THAN ENOUGH to eat could not begin to understand the agony of starvation.  We live in a nation of evangelicals who spend four times more on weight loss products than
we do for missions.  Can we really understand the terror-driven relentless pursuit for ANYTHING to eat?  That constant 24/7 quest deteriorates into listless resignation in a forlorn reality of not having enough strength to continue the fight.  The ability of the mind to process normal mental function is altered.   Permanently damaged, for those who are very young and their bodies can become permanently ravaged as well.   But we choose not to look and in not seeing we are satisfied with our lack of understanding.  Because even the beginning of understanding would not allow us to tolerate a world hunger paradigm where even one of the fatherless was starving and fain disinterest.  In that disinterest, we pray the line, “Give ME this day…”  Not us.  There is enough food for all of the “us”.  But all of us ME’s just don’t understand.  For us, willful ignorance can become deceived innocence.

But God understands and cares.   He inspires many to feed the fatherless through multiple orphan feeding ministries and world hunger ministries.  Christ, also truly understood that one needed to fill a tummy to have a chance to fill a heart.    God cares enough about defending the fatherless to operate through His compassion and through His righteousness.  His compassion prioritizes tummies; His righteousness prioritizes souls.  In the plight of the fatherless we see both God’s compassion and righteousness in play.  We then should take our cue and respond in a Godly fashion to the defense of the fatherless: tummy and heart, body and soul, meat and potatoes and the “sincere milk of the word”.  We must never allow Satan to diminish our efforts to provide for the body with the rationalization, “Why attempt to save the body with food if failed efforts to save the soul would result in another cast away in hell.”  That kind of reasoning prefers continued ignorance instead of accountability.

A deeper facet to consider in the defense of the fatherless and orphan comes from Christ’s expansion of sustenance with His not-living-by-bread alone reference in the Word.  To an orphan or a fatherless child, “Give us this day our daily bread” starts with food in many cases.  It is not limited to food only.  Their list of unmet basic needs is longer and more complex.  To say daily bread applies only to an orphan’s need for food would be like saying a plant needs only dirt.  An orphan is not a plant and IT is not just an orphan.  IT is a human being.  IT was created in God’s image, in His love and IT needs love. We should ask ourselves, “In my heart have I ever thought of an orphan as an IT?  Is my lack of understanding predisposed by this mindset?”  When IT is suffering, it becomes easier to pretend I cannot see.

“Give us this day our daily love.”  There was an interesting study done on institutionalized infants.  When all needs were met, but nurturing contact and loving caresses were missing, there was an alarming tendency for these infants to develop a failure-to-thrive syndrome.  They lost the will to live.  Human beings need to feel being loved.  “All I need is air that I breathe and to love you.” one secular song writer stated and another romanticized, “All you need is love.”  For plants it is CO2, for animals it is O2, but for mankind with a soul there is also love and it is a part of the “daily bread”.

Human to human love: a hug when I am hurting, a pat on the back in affirmation, a kiss on the cheek in welcome, an arm around the neck in affection, or even eye-to-eye and hand-to-hand contact that says “I care about you.  You are important to me and have value.”  These are not intangible feelings but necessary needs as are a mother’s and father’s caress.  God wants each of His created beings to have these needs fulfilled.  If His hands are to touch hearts for His righteousness sake, He needs to commission human hands to lovingly caress these children so that they know they are human.  So that they know they have worth and value to other humans and thus to God Himself.

“Give us this day our daily sustenance.” Clothing, shelter, and safety are all on the list of those unmet basic needs for most of the fatherless.  They touch the heart of God’s compassion because they are the fundamental nurturing that team with and support His righteous agenda.  Foundational.  When humans seek God, motivated by a lack of these things, it is a fear and preservation-related quest.  When sustenance has been met, a love-related quest becomes a possibility.  God has two yearnings on His list.  He yearns to be loved and to be obeyed.  He is glorified in love related quests.  When we reach out in providing daily sustenance to the fatherless we are laying the foundation for God’s glorification as those lives can then become illuminated in the “Sonshine” of their soul’s deepest need.  God’s engrafted righteousness.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”  When we pray this prayer for orphans, may its depth explode in our understanding beyond ME.  May it explode in our caring beyond ourselves that we could see.  And may it explode in our vision of defending God’s Kingdom by sharing hope with fatherless hearts.

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