Thursday, March 27, 2014
Anne with an E and ice cream
I guess if I look back at my life, God was shaping me for orphan advocacy from way back. And let me tell you, Anne with an E is my girl. And Lucy Maude is my hero. And somewhere over the years I've become more like Marilla (about whom Joe always remarks, "man is she your mom") than I ever intended, but I digress. (I'm still a lot like, Anne, too. Don't worry, my scope for imagination keeps me close to Anne.)
You see that pic? It was shared on facebook by the (sorry I'm a nerd) Anne of Green Gables fan thingy. Not by New Horizons or P143. And yet, what could more accurately portray the truth about caring for an orphan? I know they are fictional characters, but come along for the ride, won't you?
I doubt Marilla and Matthew considered themselves a good choice to care for a child. Brother and sister, old, busy, introverts, etc. They didn't even willingly choose to have Anne. They were looking for a big boy who they could feed and care for and teach him to help on the farm. But they got Anne. Anne who had never had ice cream. Those of you who know me well are probably laughing a little; my love of ice cream is epic. But that's not the part that hit me hardest. It's that Marilla never would have dreamed that Anne hadn't had ice cream before. And the Sunday School picnic they are about to attend? No one there would realize that someone in their midst was having ice cream for the first time. Marilla and all those good people of Avonlea never realizing that what they had was AMAZING. SPECIAL. BLESSED. And EXCLUSIVE. To them it was normal life, and pretty bland at that, but to Anne it was a dream come true.
I could go on and on here. Seriously, Anne, ice cream, and hosting. Anne's not adopted at this point in the story. She was just 'on trial' at Green Gables. Marilla began to see how real Anne was, and full of hope, and full of life. She came to see that Anne was not just another sad case of lost humanity with no chance for a full life of opportunity. Anne was a real, unique, funny, silly, creative, imaginative, distractible child in need of raising. And she began to see that she, Marilla, was the difference. She stood in the gap of Anne remaining "a perfect heathen" or becoming Anne the friend, Anne the devoted daughter, Anne the wife of a good doctor, Anne the mother of 6 children, Anne the light of all who knew her.
I like this story for orphan care because Marilla and Matthew didn't get a vision from God that they should go 'rescue the poor orphans.' They didn't want Anne. She just showed up by 'mistake.' They weren't qualified for the job. Old maid, old bachelor. No experience. No desire. And yet when God sent them a child, and they saw the need, and they saw the person, and they said 'yes.'
Every single orphan has the need of love and family. Every single orphan is a person.
Marilla saw it. And she said yes. Will you see it? And will you give that kid some ice cream?