Monday, August 11, 2014

Do Work, God

Boy#3 is a sports fan, but when it comes to watching his alma mater play football, he is a fanatic. I was watching a game with him once when the Wildcats had fallen behind but were making a furious comeback. It was the fourth quarter, and they had just gotten the ball.

"Do work, 'Cats. Do work," Three encouraged his team to get down to business. And they did work: They dug deep and scored to win the game.

I thought of that phrase often last week during my second trip to the Mexican children's home that has stolen my heart.

I've mentioned here before that I'm a woman of faith, one who could probably be described as a conservative Christian. Sometimes I feel as if I'm a Christian who's out of step with her denomination, though. I don't believe God has any opinion whatsoever on gun control or taxes or any other political issues except insofar as how they have an impact on how we treat each other. I also believe that the hungry and cold are unlikely to be looking for spiritual guidance until they are full and warm.

That's why I love Children's Haven. This organization removes children from the most unimaginably hellish conditions (including jail cells, drug dens, and abusive parents) and raises them in family settings where they are fed, clothed, educated, and loved. They are throw-away kids in one of Mexico's most dangerous cities, and they are given a second chance at life because of people who believed Jesus when He said "‘Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me."

When I'm there, I see God doing work.

Our group of eight drove 16 hours each way to paint houses and prepare classrooms for "the least of these." It's work our unskilled group could do, freeing the house parents to deal with the serious business of loving the children into a new way of life. 

After we had finished our work days we played with the children. My cold, hard heart swelled 16 sizes to see Boy#2 (who had given up a precious week of vacation to go on the trip) bantering with giggling eight-year-old Yerica. "Eres un tomate!" "No, eres una zanahoria!" They accused each other of being vegetables until they both ran out of vocabulary. I loved seeing the high school athletes in our group bending down from their 6'5" height to help a tiny child bat a Wiffle ball.

I saw God doing work on the children, and I saw Him doing work on me. I believed, again, that a cup of water given in His name is His will--that He is so much bigger and more capable than political opportunists would want us to think. I remembered why I love Him, and these children, and these people who have followed His call to step in beside Him. When I got home at 1 a.m. Saturday I was already counting the weeks until I will go back next summer.

Do work, God. Do work.

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