If i were to ask you, what does pure faultless religion look like, what would you say?

 I went to Kenya in 2007.  I met Edna.  She was four and came to school every day crying.  She pee’d her pants.  She never said much.  One day when the teachers I was working with wanted to take me on some home visits, I agreed.  Edna had not been in school that day.  Soon we approached her tiny home.  Her father was there.  He apologized that Edna wasn’t in school today.  It was because she didn’t have shoes.  School rules, the pupils must wear shoes, but what can she do when she has none?  We sat and he told us how hard it was being a single father of four.  Work is rare, and keeping up with all his children’s school fees is next to impossible.  He told us more stories.  Finally he began sharing about Edna’s birth.  She was a big baby and his wife had trouble delivering.  After the birth she was bleeding and bleeding.  There was no money to take her to the hospital.  Edna’s mom died.  I swallowed the lump in my throat and tried to pray out loud for Edna’s Dad.  I couldn’t do it.  I was overcome with emotion.  People don’t deserve to live, and don’t deserve to die like this.  They aren’t nameless faces to me anymore.  There are many Edna’s, and many fathers and mothers just like her.  I believe we have a responsibility to be generous and do what we can to help.  That’s why I go.  That’s why we’re doing this.  That’s why I will go again and again and again.  And somehow, in giving, we receive so much.   

Lorae French write of her time at Sunshine orphanage in the Ukraine, “The words of James 1:27 do breathe now that I see the Sunshine kids’ faces between the lines. Now that I've seen the need, without camera angles or spokesmen or violins, the sense of purpose and anointing and mission is much more real. It's raw. It's realistic. I have more responsibility. Orphans aren't in the back of my mind anymore.   God wasn't kidding when He said orphans are His heart. I think there is eternal weight in taking Him seriously on James 1:27. I don't think we have a choice. It's like "go make disciples" or "love thy neighbor"—they are not requests, they are commands.

I am only beginning to understand the depth of my own selfishness, only scratching the surface of my lazy love for the surface of things. I point the finger at myself, and beg God to speak through my admitted frailty. If you’ve felt your heart soften or ache for even one second as you’ve read this blog, I challenge you to be deliberate, to get on your knees before the God who is anything but apathetic toward you, orphaned by sin and human skin, but unconditionally loved and joyfully adopted. I dare you to actually hear what He is already saying to you. Don’t overthink your purpose. I challenge you to reject the temptation to simply read James 1:27, to reject the temptation to send good wishes, good energy or a guilt offering. Reject the temptation to see orphans through your own experience, and get into theirs. God will connect you with the seemingly small details, move past your clichés and shatter your heart for those much more broken. We don’t have to worry about our purpose when we already know His.”

A command for you:  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  – James 1:27