I mentioned to you a few posts ago that I ordered the book Radical by David Platt. I received it earlier this week and I am about halfway through.
I’ve really been enjoying it, agreeing with what he has to say, but this really hit home…
“It is easy for the numbers and statistics regarding the poor and needy to seem cold and distant. The idea of billions in poverty or twenty-six thousand children dying from starvation or preventible disease before we lay our heads on our pillows tonight seems hard to imagine.
This was the case for my wife and me when we began the process of adopting our first son. We had read the statistics before…. and they were staggering. Millions of orphans in Africa, a number that is rising dramatically as a result of the AIDS crisis that is currently taking the lives of moms and dads across the sub-Saharan plain. Millions of orphans in Asia, many if not most of whom are destined for lives in crime and prostitution if they are not adopted. Millions of orphans in Europe, Latin America, and the United States.
As overwhelming as these numbers were to us, I have to admit they were still just numbers to us before we traveled to Kazakhstan to get our son. It’s not that we didn’t care. After all, we were going through the adoption process. But the numbers still seemed distant, removed from our daily life in suburban Birmingham.
But everything changed when we made our first trip to the orphanage in Kazakhstan. We saw children playing outside. We walked past their rooms inside. Suddenly those numbers on a page came alive in our hearts. We realized it was Caleb who was sleeping in one of those cribs, and it was Caleb who was included in those numbers. All at once the numbers became real… and personal.
We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend that they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes. “