There's a powerful and compelling video that's been circulating on the web for a few months now. It's startling ... and convicting ... and compelling because it makes you consider the plight of orphans in a completely different light - in the glaring, revealing light of "what if that starving, scared, sick and desperate child was your son or daughter?"
The title of the video is "Depraved Indifference". It was only when I googled the title in order to email a link to a friend, that the definition hit me. Depraved Indifference is a legal term ...
To constitute depraved indifference, the defendant's conduct must be so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime. Depraved indifference focuses on the risk created by the defendant’s conduct, not the injuries actually resulting.
The legal definition struck a cord in me because there was a time when I could watch a video like this or hear first-hand accounts and it would disturb me for a moment ... but within minutes (if not seconds) it was relegated to a seldom visited corner of my mind and my heart. That's indifference. And my lack of concern and action can have a direct impact on the life (or death) of that child.
When we adopted our two orphaned sons from Ethiopia, two years ago, I could no longer watch a video like this or hear first-hand accounts without being deeply, deeply disturbed - not for a few moments, but for days and weeks and months.
You see ... it's different now.
I can't look at those faces and not see the faces of my sons. I can't look at those faces and not see the faces of my daughters and think ... what if? What if something happened to me and to my extended family ... would somebody protect them and care for them and love them and provide for them?
In John 21:15-18 (after the resurrection) when Jesus spoke to Peter, who had denied him three times before his crucifixion, the Lord asked Peter three times to affirm his love for him.
"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Peter, "Do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
Again Jesus said, "Do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
The third time he said to him, "Do you love me?" Peter was hurt, because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?"
He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."