Bend Low and Pull Them Up


It was only days. Days of forcing my face to look upon their scars. I knew I had a home across the ocean, around the water, on the other side of the globe…

One where feathered beds can keep me, warm compassionship knew me, and a life kept tight from trauma like I had seen at those orphanages, might hide me.

But, what happens when broken-ness won’t leave you? When the faces of the one beaten and scared, marked with memories of sin and shame in this world…

Keep staring you in the face?

How do you run? How can we handle the hard, when it sits, helpless in your arms, and asked for you to save it?

The sight of kids tied to potty chairs in Chi*a, doesn’t quickly leave you. The head-banging disabled, with arms twisted, won’t quickly escape or fade when your feet touch America.

Everything we see and hear, every story we know, it marks you good or bad, it grips you, becomes you, eventually has a part of your heart.

And some stories, I’d prefer not to hear.

Some realities of the broken turned teenagers never leaving orpahanages in Chi*a, or the meeting I attended where they discussed people jumping to their death, and how a big, iron box was placed to catch the bodies….

People standing, watching as if suicide was some sporting event…

Can never be erased from my mind.

And like hostages in some barbed-wire, concentration camp, their lips were born silent, but the longing of their hearts, faintly flinker, pain dancing through their eyes….

And is it possible to go back to regular life, after seeing their faces? Just keep driving, smiling through Starbucks, detatched, somehow keep flaunting “normal” on Facebook…

When children around the world are waiting for families, when the lost emerge from the bush in Peru, or broken limbs keep reach for help in Guatamala?

How can we ever be the same, once we have known pain, bore the scars, witnessed the reason Jesus resurrection power came into the world? How can we say we carry a gospel, yet live paralized, with feet unwilling to proclaim it? Have families cushioned in comfort, when children live outside our walls begging, crying for families?

Didn’t He commandDSC00566 (1) us to “go into all the world and preach the gospel?”

And my guess is, any true gospel must start with repentence, recognizing its own orphan spirit living inside them….

Lost. Without a family. Needy. Broken. Unable to fix themselves…

Reaching deperately for grace.

I am not sure who you are, reading this right now. I cannot tell the stories of where your own heart-ache, trauma, or pain lie…

But what I can guarantee is that there is a testimony that lies pressed within the ashes. Diamonds have been formed by the weight and crushing, pressing of everything you once thought beautiful…

Glory lies beneath the trenches, it waits for those eager, needy….those willing to crawl out from the warzone, waving it’s arm, “surrender”.

And yet, they wait. The children. No cry. No voice. No one coming to their rescue….

When did we become a world content with stagnant Christianity?

I hear His voice, “go”, and know The One who died not so that I could be comfortable, but calling me to rise in humbe obedience, doing whatever He puts in front of me….

I hear the weight of those heavy with pain and poverty and have seen the bridge He leads me to rising from my dreams.

And my hope for you as you read this, is that you wouldn’t be afraid of the hard. You wouldn’t run from whatever dreams He has placed within you, the purpose your bones were made for.

And in that following, His “yes” calls you…

Might we trust? Can we let faith rise just enough to stand and do what He has called us to, with courage and fearlessness that could only derive from the Father’s merciful throne?

After all, let’s not walk, but run to the one that needs us. Let us rise from our own shame and condemnation, fear, and trepidation and let’s go be the church….

Wrapped in humility, His blood, and living in the power of His Spirit.

We were not made to play church. People lie waiting, without enough strength, to mummer those file2751244245822words that can save them, “H E L P”.

And maybe you are that person. The one having no words, yet knowing you need a Savior.

Rise up friend. Rise up and ask Him….even just within the quiet chambers of your own soul…

And He will come and save you. He will be the answer you’ve ever wanted and ever needed…

He will give you strength, to put one foot in front of the other…

Even when the scars of where you’ve been remind you of what you’ve lost, and you feel like your the only one, desperately distraught and broken.

I hear their cries and they plague me. And yet, these words are the echo of their hearts I visited in far away countries….

Won’t you stop and listen. Find the strength to turn self-centered eyes outward…

Will you look and see. A world lies around us, broken.

And Jesus is the answer. His blood shed, paid for our redemption. And if you are standing, bend low, and reach for another, weak and helpless…

And pull them up. Not in your own strength, but in the power of the One deliverer.

He died for healing and redemption…Yes, He came to set the captives free.

Follow here

Jen Avellaneda

Jen is an adoptive, foster, & bio mom to trans-racial family. She speaks, writes, & passionately advocates for the orphan domestically & internationally with her husband of twenty-five years.
Follow here

Latest posts by Jen Avellaneda (see all)

You may also like:


  1. Oh Jenger, you write this when you and all your household are sick and in need of strength! What a mighty woman you are :)

    I can hardly bare to read about such devastating circumstances that some pooe children live in. it must break God’s heart too!

    May all who read your posts be encouraged to step up and do all they can, and then some, but His mighty power at work within them.

    Love your caring heart, and praying for all you do.

  2. I am so pleased to make your acquaintance! This post is just what I needed to hear today. God has been asking me to bend down low, and it is hard to disrupt the status quo, In Christianity, so much stock is set on climbing ever higher and higher to somehow fill the void within us that so many of us ignore those at the bottom who are counting on them to be Jesus to us. Your words are impactful, insightful, and wise. Thank you for sharing :)

  3. Thank you for sharing the echo of the hearts of those who do not have a voice. This topic is close to my heart this last month as I desperately try to help a helpless person who cannot speak for herself. It has to be the most heartwrenching experience. This times hundreds that you saw…. I can not fathom. Thank you for sharing your heart and the call to action Jen. Blessings and health to your family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge