This is an excerpt from an article on the Christianity Today website entitled “Abba Changes Everything: Why Every Christian is Called to Rescue Orphans” by Russell D. Moore.
The creepiest sound I have ever heard was nothing at all. My wife, Maria, and I stood in the hallway of an orphanage somewhere in the former Soviet Union, on the first of two trips required for our petition to adopt. Orphanage staff led us down a hallway to greet the two 1-year-olds we hoped would become our sons. The horror wasn’t the squalor and the stench, although we at times stifled the urge to vomit and weep. The horror was the quiet of it all. The place was more silent than a funeral home by night.
I stopped and pulled on Maria’s elbow. “Why is it so quiet? The place is filled with babies.” Both of us compared the stillness with the buzz and punctuated squeals that came from our church nursery back home. Here, if we listened carefully enough, we could hear babies rocking themselves back and forth, the crib slats gently bumping against the walls. These children did not cry, because infants eventually learn to stop crying if no one ever responds to their calls for food, for comfort, for love. No one ever responded to these children. So they stopped.
This is a heart breaking quote. But, it’s encouraging to know that the body of Christ was represented in that orphanage. It makes sense in light of the Christmas season. The birth of Jesus, or the incarnation, is not just something God’s people celebrate, it’s something we embody. If the creator of the universe “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14), if the one who created everything was willing to become a man and move into the middle of it all in order to reveal himself and communicate his love for people, then it only makes sense that God’s people should do the same thing. We are a living embodiment of the incarnation. So, it only makes sense that God’s people would show up in orphanages where babies don’t cry.