Monday, April 9, 2012

Impact of The Blind Side

In 2006, long before the movie, I picked up an interesting book called the Blind Side. Being a football fan, I enjoyed the chapters describing the evolution of the Left Tackle position. More compelling was the story of Michael Oher. While you have probably seen the movie and know the story, I was reading the book when it first came out and I did not know the story.When the Touhys brought Oher into their family, they did not know he would eventually be a highly recruited football player. They saw a needy child and took him into their home. He had nothing he could give them and had a bleak future. This was about the Touhys helping a poor child. I am sure that raising this boy was very difficult. At the very least, taking in a very large, black boy had to have caused a lot of problems in their white social circles. On top of that, this boy had severe academic issues. Raising him was difficult and scary.Yet, despite these difficulties, I thought of the significant impact the Touhys had on Oher. And, I thought many Christians could follow this example and take needy children into their homes. A lot of Christians have houses with empty bedrooms. Many have children who have left for college leaving an empty nest. They are experienced parents who have a lot to give. While they might not be rich, God has richly blessed them and they could share these physical blessings with a needy child.More importantly, Christians, by housing needy children, could bless them spiritually. The child would live with the Christian family 24/7. What an opportunity. Christians could read the Bible to the child, sing Christian songs, pray with them, take them to church, share the love of God, and share the gospel. They could take a child who probably would have very little exposure to the gospel and share it with them around the clock. I could not think of a better opportunity. While someone may teach kids at church, they are only around the kids two or three hours a week. If the child lives with you, you have them all of the time.I thought of past ministries my wife and I have had. We had taken in a single teenage mom and her son. They lived with us for several months as we taught her how to care for her child and for herself. We had a foreign exchange student live with us. We had already done some of the things I saw in the Blind Side. I knew first hand that Christians could have a big impact in the lives of others if they would just open their homes. I really hoped to see Christians take advantage of such opportunities.Little did I know that God would tell our family to take in a couple of children. In early 2011, our youngest child was six years old, so we felt that we were in a position to open our home to some needy children. We decided to pursue Foster Care. Ideally, we would have two foster children, around the ages of five to eight, so that they would be near the ages of our youngest children. God has a sense of humor. In August, we had an 18 month old boy and a 9 month old girl. Eleven months later, we had their newborn baby brother. That is three children under the age of three - all in diapers. While our world changed dramatically, God gave us numerous opportunities to witness to others. Obviously, we share a great deal with the kids. At this point, they love to go to church, sing Christian songs, and are even starting to pray. Beyond the kids, we have a larger opportunity. My wife has developed a relationship with the natural mother and has consistently shared the love of God with her. My wife has become close enough to her that when she gave birth to a baby, she invited my wife into the delivery room. We have met her for extra visiting opportunities with her kids. We have given her pictures and videos of her kids. We have given her a Bible. We have had numerous chances to tell social workers and doctors that we are taking care of these children because God wants us to share his love with them. The ministry opportunities are numerous.While I know that God has not called every Christian family to become a foster parent, to adopt a children, or have children live with them, I think many have ignored God's calling in this area. Many Christians could take a child into their home but have not even considered whether God wants them to do it. I encourage everyone who reads this blog to get the movie, enjoy the show, and see if they can envision themselves helping out a child. Ask God if He wants you to open your home to a child. I know God has not called everyone to this ministry, but He has called some and they are not listening to Him. Many have the ability to minister in this way, but have never even considered it. Start asking the question. See what God has for you.

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