Ever since the twins came home, last year, I have been burdened for the children we left behind. I had visions of coming home and advocating for the ones available for adoption, and I see the faces of those who will never make it out. But the adjustment for the twins was hard, and I didn’t blog nearly as much as I had planned, and I watched the children I knew to be available for international adoption removed from the internet, either through adoption or because they are now unable to be adopted.
I have wrestled constantly with the question of my role now. Over the last few months, I have been drawn over and over to the listing of kids available through Reece’s Rainbow and other adoption sites. I look at their faces and I pay attention to their special needs. I know that it is not the time for us to even consider adopting again, but I also know that these children are real. I look at their faces because people should remember that they exist, and I know that these pictures represent hundreds of children who aren’t listed, and aren’t seen, and have even less hope. I tell my husband that something is very wrong in the world, and that this is not ok. At the same time, I have felt that there is something more I am supposed to do with all of this, and I don’t know what it is.
Then this past week, the United States news has been flooded with articles about Chick-Fil-A. Facebook feeds have been filled with people going to the restaurant to show their support. And I have to admit, I am crushed. I feel gutted and shaken at the response to this entire mess. I want to be very clear that I am not bashing freedom of speech, and I believe that Dan Cathy should have the right to say and support whatever he wants. I also believe that people should be free to chose how to spend their money, based on their reactions to his words. But I am so angered at the response from Christians attempting to support the restaurant.
First of all, there’s the message that the lines around Chick-Fil-A last Wednesday gives to our Gay sisters and brother, daughters, sons…. others have blogged about that much more eloquently than I can.
But apart from that, and the issue that shakes me to my core, is that this is the issue that brought thousands of Christians into the street. THIS. Of all the things wrong in the world, and of all the people hurting desperately every day – the Christians of America flooded Facebook with pictures of themselves standing up for this. The opportunity to stand in the air conditioning. The chance to talk with friends and say “I was there”. The chance to feed themselves their choice of food while children around the world starve to death. I understand that this was an easy cause. I understand that most of the people standing in line weren’t trying to ignore the pressing problems of the world. I know that many Christians give to causes privately. But that fact is, when we as Christians come out in the thousands to support a fast food chain, we send a very clear message about our priorities and our beliefs.
I have seen some comments asking what would happen if all of the people who came out in support of Chick-Fil-A gave the same amount of money to someone in need. I agree. But it’s more than that. It’s the effort put forth, the moral indignation, the desire to stand up and stand for something…. and we stood up for this? I am all for First Amendment Rights, but the Bible doesn’t speak to throwing money towards a corporation. It is very, very clear on the priorities of those who chose to follow Christ – care for the widows and the orphans. When I was hungry, you gave me food. Love your neighbor as yourself.
This is a little girl that until very recently lived in an orphanage in Bulgaria. In these pictures she is eleven years old, and weighs ten pounds.
This little girl lives in a crib in Eastern Europe. She has brittle bone disease, and spends her life in a crib. These are the pictures I stare at every night, and this is how I see the church choosing to mobilize.
I remember all the sermons I heard growing up, all the videos we were shown, about how a revival was coming and how Christians were going to change the world. As far as I can see, the world is still the same, but at least our chicken sandwiches are safe.
I will be honest and say that when I planned to write this blog, I had every intention of being level headed and calm with my words. I knew that coming across too strong would only alienate others. But the fact is, I am angry. I am deeply angry and deeply hurt. I get that this was an easy cause. I get that it was a quick trip and a nice pat on the back. There is nothing easy about this.
(In this picture she is nine years old)
There is nothing safe about this.
There is no pat on the back when we look at the face of the children we are failing. And I understand that this worked because there was a day to go, a person to follow, a place to give. However, there are bloggers every day screaming from the rooftops for these kids, and these kids are just one small drop in a huge world of hurt. I see fundraisers for adoptions on Facebook, and they get nothing like the kind of attention this restaurant earned. There are people hurting every day, and what I want to know is… all of the people that stood in line last Wednesday, where are you going to be tomorrow? Where are you going to be a week from now? Who is going to stand up and call an appreciation day for the least of these? Why is this the cause that can light up Facebook, when every day, these children will still be dying alone.