Do you remember how big your dad seemed when you were a child? I remember thinking my dad was so strong, especially when he would lift something heavy. As a six-year-old boy, I watched him carrying a washing machine upstairs. It looked like my dad had the world on his back. Do you remember your dad’s hands? As a young boy holding my dad’s hand in church, I was struck with wonder. How could his hands be so much bigger and stronger than mine? My hands were a boy’s: small, smooth, and soft. My dad’s hands were those of a man. Years go by and humanity asserts itself. My hands now look like my dad’s did then; his hands like his dad’s. My kids now think I am so strong. As they grow up, time will do its thing. The gap will close. One day, they will be stronger; that’s as it should be. We’re human, but what if it was different? What if, as we grew up, we realized our Dad was even stronger than we thought when we were little? What if, as we learned more about Him, our Dad was more wonderful than we’d ever considered? What if He actually knew the answer to every question? What if He never slept? What if He could make all things new? That would be something. There would be stories to tell. He is, and there are. Our heavenly Father is working all the time, all around the world. He is giving beauty for ashes. He is raising up people to care for orphaned and abandoned children in some of the most desperate places of poverty, hunger, and need. In the process, the givers receive. The blessings flow both ways. Children receive love, security, and family. Adults get smiles, hugs, and joy. The American dream of a nice house, nice cars, elective plastic surgery, five-star vacations, and a comfy retirement is unmistakably exposed as a bankrupt imposter. Somewhere along the way, lives are transformed. People are ruined for the average. We know. It happened to us, but this is not our story, though we once thought it was. This is not even the story of The Global Orphan Project, though some think it is. It is a movement of the Hands of God. The closer we get to the strong, calloused, scarred hands of our Father and carpenter King, the more wonderful they appear. These are His Stories of hope, redemption, and hard work, documented in journal entries, dialogue and prose. We’ve simply been invited in. You are invited also, but beware! This work is not for the self-centered or soft. Real love can be messy, risky, difficult, and dangerous. Are you willing to consider that God’s riches can be found in Haitian orphanages? Are you open to the possibility that our Dad is all you ever hoped for and more? Are you prepared to be ruined for the average?
Joe Knittig Ruined for the Average: Finding God’s Riches in Haiti
Trace Thurlby 1 Introduction: Daddy’s Hands