Tiny fingers curled up into a bony claw. Emaciated legs the girth of a quarter. Heads flattened and swollen. Lungs laboring to take in breath. Eyes crying out in silent pain.

The appearance of these severely-disabled orphans is deceptive.

They look broken, and indeed they are, but their value far outweighs what society would place upon them. They are each more precious than anything this world has to offer, more significant than the wealth of the nations. After all, each eternal soul is a cherished prize that outlasts the materials and treasures of this temporal world.

But each of these children also reminds us of the corruption of the creation, brought about by man’s revolt against God. There is nothing that these children had done that brought such disfigurement or incapacity. They are the ‘innocent’ victims, visible in waves of severity: Physically immobilized. Mentally stunted. Emotionally tormented. Consciousness trapped inside unresponsive prisons.

Abandoned.

To be a child of such condition and circumstance is to be the living embodiment of the effects of our corporal sin, powerfully-visible evidence of the fall.

In the mind’s eye of God, he crafted and pictured these children as perfect. His creation was good. Our choice blunted and bruised them at the genetic level. We, ourselves, took the form and distorted it. We grabbed limbs and minds and twisted them into something barely recognizable.

Some would say that these children now have no purpose; that they are just living units without contribution.

Not true.

This is where we have the opportunity to fight against our own rebellion, to show that we are indeed creatures of compassionate choice. To stroke the hand of a child that can never hold one this side of eternity. To brush the knotted hair of a young soul that will dance with flowing locks in the new creation. To smile and kiss the forehead of the abandoned child that will never be adored by an earthly father.

It is in these moments that we understand the immeasurable value of these precious souls…and the worth of our own.