Father to the Fatherless
I love letters. Birthday cards, thank you cards, love letters, I’m-praying-for-you-hang-in-there cards, sticky notes on my dorm room door. There is something beautiful, nostalgic, and romantic about stamps, stationary, and hand written words. In my desk, I have a folder of thank you letters and pictures, and every time I look at them I cry. You see, they aren’t normal thank you cards. No one is thanking me for the cookies I baked them last week or the coffee I bought them on their off-day. They actually weren’t written to me at all. They aren’t written in english, and they aren’t written on fancy, monogramed stationary.
Most are written in crayon, or almost dried out marker. There are pictures accompanying most of the letters. Both the hand drawn kind and headshot of their 9 year old authors.
They are thank you letters written by Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box recipients. And they break my heart. Every. Single. Time.
The stories that these pages hold are enough to leave me breathless, even though I know what they say and I have read them hundreds of times.
Stories of the sick, who received a box with medicine in it, and with it, knowledge of a healing, sovereign God.
Stories of the lost, who for the first time, realized they were found. Stories of the faceless, who found out that they were known. Pursued. Wanted. And loved.
Stories of orphans, learning for the first time that there is a Perfect Father who loves them relentlessly and unendingly and who calls them “beloved child”.
Hola… mi nombre es Sharick, tengo 12 años, mi papá un día se fue y no sabia que Dios me amaba tanto. Recibí la cajita con muchos detalles… Hoy recibí el mejor regalo de mi vida, Cristo esta ahora en mi corazón…”.
Hello… My name is Sharick, and I am 12 years old. One day, my dad left us. I didn’t know that God loved me. I received the shoebox and all of it’s and all of its thoughtful gifts… But today I got the best gift of my life, Christ is living in my heart.
This is why I do what I do. This is why I pack shoeboxes. The Gospel is transformative and beautiful and perfect. God pursues us. He loves His children, and He is the Perfect Father. Being able to help children all across the world learn of these things is one of the greatest honors I could ever imagine.