Throughout this crazy week when months and months of campaigning have finally reached their climax, these two things have been on my mind – duty and privilege.

As an American, I have had the great blessing to be able to vote in many elections and I take that fairly seriously.  The whole concept of voting is pretty complex, the way it’s set up, how much it has evolved, what people think of it… and I’ve been considering those things this week. 

What is voting meant to be?  How do I really think of it?  People often say, “You must vote. It’s your duty as a citizen.”  And if it is a duty, to me that means it’s something you must do.  To me, I’d think a duty is an obligation for which you are held responsible and there will be consequences if you do not fulfill that duty.  In essence, there are no immediate consequences from not voting, you will not be sent to jail or fined if you do not go out to vote.  Maybe you will suffer some other consequences if you are unhappy with things in the government that you could have had a say in, but did not since you did not vote.  But for those who care about their role in the government, the issue at hand, and believe in the system, then it is a duty to vote.  Those people take it as a serious responsibility they are given and must fulfill.  …but at the end, it really is a choice that is left up to you to accept that duty. 

Those who see it as a duty, probably also acknowledge that it is a privilege to be able to vote.  There are people living here in this country who have not earned the ability to vote, and also for those around the world who do not give their citizens this option as well.  And when I consider all the people who do not have this duty to vote, I really do see it as a privilege; something we have been given especially beneficial that not all people receive.   It is a privilege to vote, to have a role in the government, to be heard.  Not all people have this great opportunity, so Pround to be an American... and advocate of EE orphansI am grateful for the chance to vote.  I am blessed to live in a country that gives its people this privilege.

And I think, how many people, eligible citizens, really step up to accept this duty and take advantage of this privilege?  In recent years, just over half of the US.  To me, it is sad to see that lack of enthusiasm and skepticism.  Imagine what the country might be like if that would increase…

As much as I am proud to be an American, (the song will always be one of my favs Winking smile ) this brings me to think about my true citizenship – heaven.  (Philippians 3:20) As a believer in Christ, I have also been given duties and privileges.  Things that God is counting on us to do and things that He has given us the opportunity to be a part of.  And for me, one of those biggest things is caring for the fatherless.

God has given us the duty to care for orphans. “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17 NIV) “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27 NIV)
God commands us to take care of the orphan.  It is a responsibility he has given us and he is counting on us to do.  We can ignore it and think there will not be consequences, but we cannot see into eternity to know what really could happen if we choose to neglect this command.

This duty is not something that I bear as a burden, but as an honor and privilege.  I am blessed to have the opportunity to do God’s work for these forgotten children.  What an special chance I have been given to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to witness true love, healing, reconciliation, new life, affect change for generations.  It is surely a privilege to be entrusted with such a great task.  I do not take it lightly and I do take it with joy. 

As a part of this campaign to reach orphans for God’s kingdom, the ‘turnout’ is also disappointing.  It’s hard to say all of the people who have stepped up for the cause of the orphan, so there is another way to look at it.  If we consider all the orphans in the world, and all the Christians, we would only need a turnout of 6% to care for all the fatherless children.  Only 6%!!  If just 6 out of every 100 believers in the world would wholeheartedly join this campaign, these children would have a chance.  A chance at hope, love, life, a family. 

What will it take to get just a few more to step up and accept this duty and enjoy this privilege?