Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger, abounding in mercy.
Yesterday, Paul and I shared a nice little moment. He woke from his nap early so I went up to feed him and hold him for a few minutes, in hopes that he would sleep for a while longer. After he ate I held him and decided to sing to a song from college that has been in my head lately…
The Lord is gracious and compassionate. Slow to anger and rich in love.
It has a simple and lovely melody. Paul was relaxed, resting with me, but still wide awake and making good eye contact. The first line repeats a couple of times, then comes the second -and only other- phrase…
And the Lord is good to all. He has compassion on all that He has made.
Though I know Paul didn’t really understand what I was saying he was so attentive. And it struck me: had he not come home, he would have never known what I was telling him.
In that moment, the song wasn’t just one to help him rest. It wasn’t just one of praise to God. It was one that communicated a Truth to a child who would have, presumably, never heard it had he not come home with us.
Living with us, he will someday know about how merciful and loving our God is. He will know because we will tell him. And he will know through our family -our domestic church- how we love one another, which is meant to convey the love the Father has for us.
In the orphanage, he wouldn’t have ever experienced either of those things.
And this is why every child needs a family.
Of course, Paul needs medical care, therapy, nutrition, education, socialization, and love. But ultimately, he needs God – our compassionate, merciful, loving, generous, good and beautiful God. He is meant to be in relationship with that God and in nurturing that we honor Paul’s dignity and do justice to him and to the Father who loves him.
Imagine all the children who still lie alone. Think about how they won’t know about the God who died for them.
Think about your God, who longs to intimately love them.
We are called to care for these kids for their own sake, but also for His.