“Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Matt. 18:14
Three years ago Anders Breivik at a summer camp in Oslo, Norway senselessly and savagely murdered sixty-nine people, mostly children. He did it to make a political statement. People around the world experienced intense anger, sadness, horror, and outrage because of this evil act. Who can imagine the sorrow and loss the parents and families of these children must have felt in the face of such an atrocity? We all felt the effect of this wickedness and others like it.
I wonder if we would feel the same outrage and sorrow if we stopped to consider another evil that is killing thousands, if not millions, of our children today.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16
There was a saying among Jews that “he who prays surrounds his house with a wall stronger than iron.” James says much the same thing. There is power and great effect because of the prayers of a righteous person.
But do you really believe it? Do you take prayer that seriously? I know I’m guilty. Prayer is hard work and perhaps you struggle, like me, to make prayer a regular part of your day. Perhaps one of the reasons it’s hard is the “righteous” part. You know your heart, and that you aren’t perfect. News flash! None of us are!
So what did James mean by a righteous man (person)?
“The Father is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Matt. 18:14
I’ve often said that one of my heroes of the faith is a man named Caleb--a man willing to risk it all because he believed God. I love how he responds to Joshua concerning his portion of the inheritance God has promised to him 40 years earlier.
“So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong todays as the day Moses sent me out: I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said (Joshua 14:11-12).”
Caleb stands in stark contrast to the hordes of ‘retirees’ today living in age-segregated communities
From 1854 to 1929 Orphan Trains transported nearly 200,000 destitute children, mostly from Boston and New York, to families across America. Most of them were immigrant children orphaned, abandoned or neglected by their families. When the train arrived at a train stop or station, children would pile off the train and line up for inspection by waiting adults who poked and prodded trying to ascertain who would bring the best value to their farm or business. Those not chosen would pile back on the train and head for the next stop. While some children found good homes and families, many were exploited and abused by those who picked them. They were treated like indentured servants or worse—nothing more than property.
Today children are still exploited and abused, frequently in more dehumanizing ways than any Orphan Train.