We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more
– We Will Feast in the House of Zion, Sandra McCracken
If you’re like me, you often find yourself overwhelmed by the need and vast brokenness in the world. Whether it’s injustices around the globe, broken relationships, or unmet expectations, I often long for a time and place that I’ve never actually known – where the disappointment I feel so often on this earth is no more. C.S. Lewis famously says, “the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Recently, I felt this tugging homesickness in a new way when I visited Costesti Orphanage in northwest Moldova. Costesti is an orphanage for special needs kids, kids whose parents cannot or will not care for them for one reason or another. While some of the kids know a family member, there are many who quite simply have no one. Not only have these kids been abandoned by the very ones who are supposed to love them unconditionally, they are societal outcasts because of their mental or intellectual disabilities.
As our car pulled up the long drive to Costesti Orphanage, a group of boys ran alongside the car, ecstatic for visitors. One boy’s enthusiasm seemed to supersede that of the others, though. Vasile was his name, I quickly learned, because he was sure to tell everyone in the car that fact just as soon as we opened the doors. Vasile has downs syndrome and has developed severe behavioral problems as well, in large part due to having no consistent adults in his life. Vasile spent the day singing us peppy songs in Romanian, giving unsolicited (and very tight) hugs, asking us to take his photo, and smiling about everything.
Needless to say, spending the afternoon at Costesti Orphanage was a blast. But, I walked away that day with a heavy heart – that familiar homesickness and helplessness I’d felt before, but in a new way. It didn’t seem fair (and it isn’t), that sweet, wild Vasile had been dealt the hand that he has. There is so much injustice in the world – we feel that when we see the plight of an orphan like Vasile or a loved one dies unexpectedly, or when a friend betrays us. And in the midst of all of this, there is a great hope. THE Great Hope, a king who reigns yesterday and today and tomorrow, and who is making all things new, even in the face of our longest and darkest days.
Not only that, but he is preparing a great feast, and He invites Vasile, and you, and me to the table. Despite my tendency to choose other, lesser feasts, the King is offering me a seat where I don’t belong. I can’t wait for that day – to look around that great banquet table and see Vasile sitting next to Kings and Jungle Pastors and CEOs and Refugees.
As I look forward to that day, I pray that I will be obedient in the mean time. I pray that I would have the eyes to see the forgotten and downtrodden around me, living in the knowledge that my own heart has the very same deep need for rescue.
The Father is building his Kingdom, even (and especially) in a special needs orphanage in Moldova.
Let’s spend ourselves on behalf of those that Jesus Himself spent so much of His time on earth with, living with great anticipation of the feast that awaits believers of every tongue, tribe, and nation.