It says that every time.
And every time it breaks my heart. How is it that a 3-year-old gorgeous (and adorable) girl, cannot get anyone to visit her? And how many kids are like her around the world?
Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.
– Mother Teresa
You see, I read that “no visitors” statement, every other week, when we get the report of how our adopted daughter is doing in Ethiopia. It’s a two page document that tells us her feeding habits, health issues, sleeping patterns and how well she’s relating to the other children in the orphanage.
The truth is that celebrating Father’s Day without her here is extremely frustrating. If I’m honest, I’m feeling a lack of hope. It’s been a long tedious process and all we can do now is wait for the call.
Then I realize that there are hundreds like her right here, in a 20 mile radius, in the land where I live. And I write about Isabela Sitota and I ask people to help fund the adoption, and I work hard in different projects to make more money, and I get angry about her loneliness.
But I have friends in America who are lonely. I have neighbors who sit alone all day. I have friends addicted to Facebook and enemies, that are enemies, because being an enemy is the only way they connect.
And many fathers who sit by the phone, waiting for us to call again.
There are also amazing 80-year-olds who live in homes with no one visiting them. There are prisoners in our jails who have been abandoned by family and friends. There are young people with special needs who get lost in their own worlds with only a few others ever connecting.
Every week their hearts say to them: “No visitors.”
That line is currently my main adversary. And we have made it our problem to end that statement soon. In the late parts of this summer, my wife and I will visit Isabela Sitota (the 3-year-old gorgeous and adorable girl).
We will visit her and stay with her and play with her and fall more in love with her.
We will give her our name, our food, our time, our God.
And hopefully we’ll get to make videos like this one:
I know Sitota might get lonely again in the future (especially if she has an Emo stage like I did in my teens) but it will be her choice to be alone.
And that is a privilege every person deserves.
According to Psalm 68, “God sets the lonely in families.”
Yes, Sitota is currently lonely, but she will soon be in our family. It’s not the perfect family… but it will be her Psalm 68 family.
Think about the people in your life who could use a visit this week. Maybe a cousin who is in prison, maybe a widow living on her own, or a friend of a friend who’s dying in a hospital bed, or a neighborhood child who’s on his 3rd foster home.
Especially think about the time your going to invest with your Dad this weekend.
Think about them and remember that they are Jesus.
And when you visit them, you visit Him.
This is not a guilt-trip… it’s more of a field-trip into the full counsel of God (and a beautiful invitation to love those who are lonely around you).
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Jesus in Matthew 25.
The curse of being lonely can be cured with the blessing of companionship.
Not much is required.
We can just make it part of our mission to be present.
To be there.
To be the “one visitor.”
Happy Father’s Day!