After we laughed and shook our heads no, our dear friend Sara asked her the reasoning behind her question.
1. You prayed before your meal
2. You're very nice
3. You asked me "how I was"
Sara had extended dignity to her. Not religion. Dignity in the form of "how are you?" Dignity she recognized as a characteristic of Jesus. How refreshing.
A few hours later, bold Sara asked her again "Do you go to church somewhere?"
She did. She was searching for community. A place to belong.
She went on to explain she had been in foster care and therefore highly valued a "place to belong".
Insert Sara and her incredible compassion "Sit down here beside me"
The day before her 16th birthday, she was removed from her home for safety. Her sweet 16 quickly became rotten.
All I could think about was how I was getting ready to be surprised with a big party by my parents and friends at Naples the day before my 16th birthday.
She was wise WELL beyond her years. Full of grace. Forgiveness. She was brave and bold. Driven.
She spoke of how she was difficult to place in foster homes due to her age and health concerns. How she understood why she was asked to leave one home because her risky behavior was leaving poor impressions on a younger child.
Jeremy asked to pray over her right in the middle of the UT football game, pizza, and beer. We laid hands on her. Asked for God's protection, provision, and blessing.
She has now "aged out" of foster care. She is going to school. Wants to be a writer. She is working and taking responsibility.
And again all I could think about was do you have somewhere to go for the holidays? On school breaks?
There are angels among us. Offer them dignity. They might just recognize it as Jesus.
It was a humbling, beautiful introduction to our Orphan Sunday today.
Adoption. Foster Care. Global Orphan Care. Family Preservation.
If you claim Jesus as Savior, you are called to offer dignity to these babies in some way.
It might look like asking "how are you" and blessing with a good tip!