Christmas is a time when we gather together in the coziness and warmth of our homes surrounded by food, laughter and most importantly–family. Imagine how different it is for orphans or children whose family is torn apart by the ravages of drugs, alcohol, poverty, crime, war, etc., and have never known the love of family. These precious ones hold a special place in God’s heart. God is a “Father of the fatherless.”(Psalms 68:5) These children aren’t just in underdeveloped countries–they are in our schools, neighborhoods and churches. We are surrounded by opportunities to love as Our Father loves! What does this look like? Well–I am blessed to know someone who has captured the essence of loving the fatherless!

Kandi is a dear friend of mine and she has devoted her life to loving hundreds of children. She teaches children in church, she facilitates visits between children and their incarcerated parents, she runs a service to supervise visitation between children and their parents during tumultuous legal proceedings–just to name a few! I’ve seen her with these children–she looks at them the way I imagine that God does. They adore her–not because she gives them toys–but because she gives them her heart! In their cold, harsh world–they experience God’s love–through Kandi’s heart. She has shown them their Heavenly Father who will never leave them! She inspires God’s love in me and many others!

As God’s children, we are entrusted by Him to be His hands and heart for the children of the world. Loving other people’s children is “true religion.” (James 1:27) Whether that means we adopt and give a child a forever home or we simply commit time to loving them—this is the very essence of our service to God. When we love children who don’t know the love of family, we show them the love of God’s family! We lead them to their forever Father! I cannot imagine giving a child any sweeter Christmas gift than love that lasts forever!