Written by Sheridan Northeast

At the beginning of my life, I was adopted into a Christian home. At the time, my adopted parents were also foster parents. This had influenced my faith tremendously.

Mainly it taught me to accept and love those who are different from me, even at a young age. This lesson still impacts my life, and I am thankful.

Fostering is similar to mentoring or shepherding, in a sense. My parents clearly wanted what was best for the youth in their care. They wanted to make a positive impact. They aimed to help these youth create a better outlook on life by showing there are people out there who care for and love them for who they are.

In my faith journey, I have seen many times where this lesson has come up. Because of this lesson, I wear my heart on my sleeve, as some would say. One of my goals in life is to love others just as Christ loves us. I also want the people I come across to know they are loved and cared for by the One who created them. Remember, we are God’s masterpiece no matter what.

God’s Word has many examples of how Christ loves and accepts those who are unnoticed amid the crowds.

For example, Jesus stayed at Zacchaeus’s house, which caused people to question and notice that Jesus was associating with a sinner (Luke 19:1-10). And there’s the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7, Matthew 18:12-14) and the story of Jesus letting the children come to Him, despite the disciples’ protests (Matthew 19:13-15).

What I am trying to say is this: I am thankful for the example of my parents fostering different youth for years. It helped give me a sense of who God wanted me to become—His daughter, His warrior who cares for those others dismiss or overlook.

Do not be afraid to boldly reach out to those you see in the crowds who are going unnoticed or being looked down on. Instead, go to them and show them Christ’s love through your actions.