Today we celebrate a MIRACLE:
~ I think most people would say that true "miracles" are rare. I don't think people look back at the timeline of their life and see days that are truly astounding, days they can't take credit for, days they would consider a miracle.
~ My youngest son, "ELI", is among those who WILL have a day like that. It was a day just like this one, 4 years ago. We landed in Colorado after a long flight from China, we exited the plane and that is where it began. One minute he was a small Chinese boy, graciously riding along with two American strangers, Shanna and I. The next minute, the RamFam kids descended upon him with mountains of love and attention and left no doubt, this little army grew by one Chinese boy.
~ On paper he was already part of our family, but not until that minute did Elizabeth, Hosanna, Benjamin, and Victoria know for sure that Eli was their brother. And, not until that moment had Eli even slightly imagined a life where he would daily be swallowed up in love and affection by his own sisters and brother. As we walked around the corner of the breezeway between the airport terminal and the waiting area, everyone's eyes met. The RamFam kids took mere seconds before grabbing him up, holding him, talking with him, singing with him and playing with him....there was no doubt.....this little guy was in, part of the family.
~ From that day on he hasn't been able to shed the love, care, affection, help and leadership of his siblings, parents, grandparents, family & friends. We have a very large extended faith & community family. Eli is more popular than any of us. His miracle day opened doors he will likely never be able to quantify. It was a miracle. It continues to be a miracle. God set him in a family and that family will never let him go. Never will he lay in bed alone, never will his medical needs go unmet, never will he struggle with bullies on the playground, (woah to the yupee-nerds who try to hurt him, the RamFam is 5 kids deep and the big brother is 5'9"/155lbs at 13yrs old) never will he be hungry, bored or ignorant. His family hovers over and around him 24/7/365. We play, pray, teach, eat, sleep, travel, work, serve, learn, dream, hurt, heal and live this crazy life...AS A FAMILY.....
~ This may not seem like a miracle to most of us, but try NOT having family for a while, none, no one to call mom or dad, sister or brother, aunt or uncle.
This is the plight of the orphan............
~ The orphan is a person, with a heart, a mind, a desire to live and thrive. The orphan is a person, with dreams, desires, and needs, just like any person. The orphan is also waiting, they are not waiting to be born, to be alive, to need help, or to figure out what is next. Life has come to them, time will pass, the question is...will they be part of a family or not. For most orphans, this is the one and only question that matters.
~ I believe an orphan can find a spiritual family by following God as Father and trusting Jesus as Lord. The Spirit of God will comfort him and be his teacher. But, God has set HUMANS and EVERY OTHER CREATED THING in families. Just yesterday, while watching a documentary, the completely secular scientist made the point that EVERYTHING in creation is grouped into families of one sort or another. This is evidence that God's heart is for every man, woman, boy and girl to be in a family. The orphan, as I said, can find spiritual family by submitting his heart to God. But, there will be a part of his life on this planet that never feels right, not because God is not enough, but because God designed this life to be lived IN A FAMILY.
~ So, what will you do for the orphan. Not ORPHANS around the world, just the one. We get lost in the idea of orphans around the world. My question is more personal, Is there one face, one little hand, one weak sounding voice echoing in your ear, saying..."would you make me part of your family." I don't like emotional TV commercials, trying to make me sad enough to send money to poor kids in Africa. I do, however, think the situation with kids in poverty, especially those who have no family is sad, very sad. I advocate sending money, giving and going. But, right now, without the sad TV commercial, I ask straight forward, what will you do for "the" orphan.
~ Four years ago today God fulfilled his own promise, according to Psalm 68. He put Elias ZhangWei Ramsdell in a family. It was and is a miracle, not from the Ramsdell family, but from God. We are merely participants in a greater story, a story of redemption, reconciliation and family. We are broken like every family, so the miracle was not about us, it was about God, His grace upon Eli and His promise fulfilled. Believe Him today and consider deeply, how would God touch "the orphan", if he used you. Give, Go, Adopt, Support, Send others....do something....do something....and you too will have the pleasure of standing back to see the hand of God at work, making a normal day into a Day of Miracles.
"...A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is GOD in his holy dwelling. GOD "sets" the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing;...."
~~ there is a great story about the "he leads out the prisoners with singing" part of that promise...maybe another post ~~
Thanks for Reading,