July 25, 2021

Faith—Helping the Fatherless

Psalm 10

The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

—  Psalm 10:14

This psalm reminds me of an awful night in Jos, Nigeria. Thieves scaled the wall of our mission compound. With machetes, they attacked the guard on duty. By the time help ­arrived, he was fatally wounded. Mission staff brought him to the hospital, but it was too late. He had lost his life trying to keep us safe.

On that dreadful night, his dear wife became a widow— and his four young children, fatherless. What is there to say in the event of such brutality, such loss?

As a mission community, we met together to process our feelings: guilt, grief, pain, anger. We turned to Psalm 10 as we shared our experience. With the psalmist we cried, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” “The ­wicked” had come into our compound. From an ambush they had murdered the innocent.

We felt crushed. But we joined with the psalmist in prayer: “You, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”

How does God take in hand grief and trouble from such a tragedy? His Father-heart hurts with the grieving. He shows care through his people—grieving with the family, paying funeral costs, providing scholarship funds for the children. In their help a hurting family saw that God is the helper of the fatherless.

Work in us and through us, Lord, to show your care for people who are hurting. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Kiekover

Harvey Kiekover grew up on a Michigan farm and studied to go into pastoral ministry. He served as a teacher in Nigeria and as a pastor and chaplain in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He and his wife became the parents of three sons, and he enjoys spending time with his six grandchildren.

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