Springs and Steeples: Missing Directives within the Church Concerning the Care of Orphans

Jinan, in the province of Shandong, China, is known as the City of Springs.  Lovely fountains rise up in aquatic splendor waiting to be seen.  Travelers are informed regarding the springs; and opportunities to visit are made available.  These beautiful waters, though, cry out; but only a few are heard.  Towers of strength against a Heavenly canvas, church steeples point to God.  As skylines of hope, these beacons are looked upon as places of comfort.  In the midst of the fountains, however, are the fatherless; and in the strength of the steeples remain the orphans-children without permanent homes.

These orphans reside near numerous waters, but their thirst is not quenched.  They look toward the steeples but are left without comfort.  Comfortless, a significant word in the New Testament, refers to the word, Orphans.  According to John 14:18 KJV, Jesus tells the disciples that He will not leave them comfortless.  In the amplified version of the same text, this analogy is expounded upon: Orphans are described as comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, and helpless.  Orphans, then, are not comforted in a parental sense so are also identified as fatherless.  This means there is no earthly father(s) available for them to derive comfort from.

How does the Heavenly Father address these troubled seas?  He starts with Himself as He is a Father to the Fatherless (Psalms 68:5); He asks the children to come to Him (Matthew 19:14); He pleads their cause (Proverbs 23: 10-11); He defends (Psalms 82:3); and He sets them into families (Psalms 68:6).  As comforted children, Christians are known as the family of God.  They have not been left as orphans since Christ came to them (John 14:18).  In sacrificial love for the world, God sent His only Son on a journey that was not easy.  Knowing the cost was high, He gave His life, and the adoption price was paid (Galatians 4:4-5).  Consider this in Ephesians 1: 5 KJV, “. . . the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

God’s will-stated in His Word; authentic Christianity is defined.  The fatherless are to be visited in their affliction (James 1:27).  To visit is to meet basic needs.  One’s Faith (Salvation) is examined and/or proved through actions as Christ explains in this difficult but powerful passage (Matthew 25: 35-45).  In as much as you have done this unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done this unto Me.  Simply stated, when a child is loved, sheltered, clothed, and fed, this is like our Lord being loved, sheltered, clothed, and fed.

The components of pure religion are made perfect through the Fountain of Life (Revelation 21:6).  Jesus Christ is the Fountain of Living Waters; and children can put their trust in Him (Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13, and Psalms 36: 7-9).  Indeed, the River of Salvation flows sweetly when an adopted child is exposed to the Gospel and introduced to their Savior-for the very first time.

Throughout our world, opportunities spring up as fountains to give the fatherless permanent, loving families.  They are to be comforted, dear friends.  Will a precious boy or girl find the way to your church steeple?


Susan is a licensed minister and a graduate of Liberty University.  She is a proud grandmother of four grandchildren, two of which were adopted from China in 2008 and 2011.

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