The Great Wall of China. Living Bigger than Ourselves.Rich Stigall
Yesterday we had the opportunity to stand on the Great Wall. I’ve heard the facts…a wonder of the world; it can be seen from space, took hundreds of years to build, stretches a distance longer than from LA to NYC, etc. I had even stood on it nine years ago. The memory of this massive structure numbing my mind as it ran to the horizon, like a viewing of the Grand Canyon, was easily accessed, but all of that fell away as I found myself thinking about individual workers who put each stone in place minute by minute, day after day…
Mike Fox says get involved with a work bigger than yourself and one you can’t control. He and Beth have chosen orphan care, so have we and so have many of you. The analogy to giving one’s life to the work of children who need family and building the Great Wall seems like a stretch at first.
Many workers on the Great Wall labored under duress as little more than slaves. Thousands literally gave their lives in the Wall’s construction. With full respect to their sacrifices and the differences of the two tasks, giving one’s life to building the Great Wall of China and caring for children the world has left behind has several parallels. Here are a few:
– Both works take time, resources, and commitment. One could make a good case that caring for the world’s children takes far more of each than building the Great Wall.
– No one can do it alone. In fact, it is as ludicrous to think that one person could care for the world’s orphans as it is to think of one person building the Great Wall.
– The work can be thankless. The world doesn’t know who built this section of the Wall, anymore than the world can name the person who works with the House Mamas at Pothawira.
– The work will have great significance, even after our lives on earth are over. I’m biased, but with proper respect to the Wall, advantage here goes to investing in the lives of children at the end of the line.
– While the window is open, there is always room for one more to join in. The window of working on the Wall has largely closed. If you speak Mandarin and know someone, maybe you could get a job as a gondola operator taking people to the top. If you excel at sales, maybe you could peddle wares to tourists at the bottom, but the likelihood that the Great Wall of China is going to provide the platform to get involved and make a difference in a work bigger than yourself largely closed, say 500+ years ago. With orphan care, however, the window is wide open!
– If you can mentor, if you can go, if you can give, if you can pray, if you can advocate (fancy word for send e-mails, talk, tweet, and post on Facbook), or if even can shop online, you can make the difference in the lives of children and families in crisis.
Thank you for so many of you who are giving your time, your resources, and much of the best parts of your lives to build into every child a chance in their own lives. It’s far bigger than us. We don’t control it, but with faith in Jesus, we believe the benefits will run to the horizon and beyond…