“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” (Psalm 27:10, NIV)
Psalm 27 is believed to be a military psalm written by David at the time he was fleeing from King Saul. When he wrote “though my father and mother forsake me,” he was referring to the dearest people to him, the last to desert him. Abandonment of parents is presented here as the last and complete abandonment.
As I read this passage, I couldn’t help but think about a young woman named Marlene, whose childhood resembled a war zone. Marlene’s mother died in childbirth. She never knew her father, and she was rejected by her maternal grandparents, because they saw her as the reason for their daughter’s death. Growing up in an orphanage, Marlene experienced different kinds of abuse and neglect. After finally being able to escape the orphanage, she traveled through several countries to arrive at the United States, with the hope that she would one day find parents and a family. When she arrived to Texas, Marlene lived in the streets for several years until she met a family who opened the doors of their hearts and home. They eventually adopted her when she was of sixteen. She now has parents and siblings.
With the support of her family and church, Marlene was able to go to school. She now has begun a ministry for children and the homeless in her city. On a day that she celebrated all the Lord has done in her life through her family, she posted Psalm 27:10 on Facebook, thanking God for parenting her through her adoptive parents.
Directly or indirectly, we all know children of absent parents, and we know parents who have answered a call to parent children who need them. As we pray Psalm 27, we remember them, for they are all our children.
Loving God, you are our father and mother. Thank you for your unfailing, everlasting, never ending, always and forever love. Thank you for answering Marlene’s prayer and for answering the prayer of many who need you through our arms and physical presence. Lead parents to children who need them and lead all of us to love as you do. Amen.