This little boy has been on my heart and mind a lot lately, even more than usual.
Although Joseph is not an orphan, he became part of Tecla's orphan ministry when we first met him as an infant, in 2006, because of his dire situation.
Like so many families, Joseph's has been torn apart by alcohol and infidelity. Throughout Joseph's life, his father has been mostly absent. And when he has been present, his example has been less than ideal.
I recieved an email back in April that Joseph's father was in prison. I had mixed emotions about this. It is never a joyful thing for a child to lose his father to prison, but at the same time, he would be less destructive behind bars.
Then just last week I recieved another email. Joseph's father is now home. He was released from prison, not because he had finished his sentence, but because he is sick. The hospital has turned him away, and now he lies at home, waiting to die.
I am sad for Joseph. Sad that a loving father figure has been absent from his life. Sad that the time he spends with him now is simply because his father has no other choice. Sad that he must watch him suffer. And I am sad that Joseph will soon lose his father, because as imperfect as he has been, he is his father.
I wonder how much pain and disappointment Joseph has felt because of this man, yet I know his death will only cause more sadness.
Its one of those times I wish I could be there to hug him and hold him and love him. But I must remember that we share the love of The Father, who loves him even more than I.
And He is there to hug him and hold him and love him every second of everday.
So I ask you, Father, if it is possible, could you hold this little boy a little closer and love him a little louder, because what he needs ~now more than ever~ is the love of a Father.