No Man Cared For My Soul


Soon after the U.S. Marine Corps sent me to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to fly jet warplanes over Southeast Asia for a year, in early spring 1974 I began visiting a Salvation Army orphanage in Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture. It was run by a Salvation Army lady captain with a staff of 4 or so women. The orphanage was for girls only, and all the staff and the children were Japanese. 

Twice a month or so, I would go there on Saturday afternoon to be there 3 hours or so, playing with the children, singing songs with them, helping the 7 or 8 year olds with their simple math homework, and cutting firewood for heating their bath water. On a pleasant Saturday afternoon in late summer, when I walked thru the gate of the orphanage, a chubby girl between 3 and 4 years old was standing alone in the very back of the small yard where the children play. She was sobbing and crying most brokenheartedly. She was a New Arrival.

Most of these girls are not here because both parents died. Poverty caused some parents to ask the orphanage to take their child or children. Family trouble was another main cause. I know not what troubled home situation sent this Little Newcomer here, but it upset her greatly. She had been here 2 or 3 days, more or less crying all her waking hours each day. The teachers fed her, bathed her, put her to bed and such, and also hugged and comforted her. But they could not sit and hug her all day. They had other work to do. So they let her “cry it out” during the first few days after her arrival.

It broke my heart to see her so sad. I started playing with the 5 or 6 other girls who were in the small dirt yard, as my eyes stayed on that Sad Little Soul. Twice, an older girl out of pity and compassion, walked over to the crying girl, and took her by one hand to try to lead her over to join us in playing on the slide, the swing, and such. But the Little Thing would react to that in anger, jerking her hand away from their hand with louder sobbing and wailing. My heart yearned to try helping her myself. But I was reluctant, seeing her reject the Japanese girls’ kindnesses. I wasn’t even sure that she had noticed that I was there. And if this adult Caucasian stranger man came over to her and got in her face, surely it would be even more traumatic than the sweet Japanese girls (with whom she can readily identify).

But her ceaseless sobbing tore my heart up more and more. Soon a louder howl came forth from her, that seemed to say, “Doesn’t anybody care for my soul.” That did it! I walked over to where she stood with her head bowed low, staring straight at her feet. I knelt down on one knee, close in front of her to be in her “low line of sight”, and silently waited (mainly silent because I cannot yet speak much Japanese).

My one knee that was on the ground was in her low line of sight, letting her know someone was there. Still heaving sobs, she ever so slowly raised her head till finally her Tearful Eyes looked into my eyes of compassion. Upon her making eye contact, I silently extended both my arms straight out in front of me, silently beckoning unto her with open arms. She sniffed and sobbed for several more seconds, pondering this invitation. On seeing this foreigner’s face, she might scream to the top of her voice, and run inside the building close by. I prayerfully waited.

Then she melted into my arms. I wrapped her up in both arms and stood up. Her head fell onto my shoulder, and she fell completely silent, no more crying and sobbing. I began walking around in the small yard, singing hymns to her in English. She soon fell into a deep sleep on my shoulder. (Likely she had not taken a nap today, and it was evident that she had worn herself out crying). I continued to hold her almost 2 hours, sitting on a bench when I tired. She was asleep much of that time, and completely silent when awake. She simply needed someone to comfort her, someone to care for her troubled soul.

Children listening to me now, you can be a comfort to miserable children around you. Ask them to listen to you sing about Jesus, or tell them any words of “comfort” God lays on your heart to offer. Teenager, you can minister God’s comfort to the troubled teens around you whose lives are messed up. Each time the opportunity arises, ask your Lord Jesus to guide you Perfectly as to exactly what to say or do. Ask them to read, or listen to, this sermon on my website.

My Fellow Christian, please pray the following with me, “Abba Father in Heaven, please fill my heart with compassion for the people around me who are hurting. When occasion arises, by Thy Holy Spirit, please teach me exactly what to do and what to say to be a comfort to suffering people around me. Please bless Brother Richard as he preaches the One True God, The God of All Comfort, to the Japanese people. Amen.”

It was two weeks later the next time I went to the orphanage. When I walked thru the gate, my heart leaped with joy to see “Chubby” happily playing in the yard with the other girls. She had “cried it all out” by now, possibly 2 weeks ago when I was here. Now, as soon as she sees me, she runs to me to be held again (for the longest). It brought me great joy, to again hold her, and to minister God’s comfort and compassion to her!

Listen to verses 3 & 4 of 2nd Corinthians Chapter 1: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

Pray: “Abba Father in Heaven, I desire to fully trust in my Creator God, the God of all comfort. Please save me from the sinful, selfish goal of living to please myself, while caring naught to help suffering mankind. Please make me into a most useful vessel of Thine, by guiding me to teach others around me of Thy All Sufficient Grace and Comfort. Amen.”    

I am speaking this in the year 2023, my 50th year in Japan, asking you Christians to please pray for an abundant harvest of Japanese souls. Likely that Chubby Little Butterball of a precious girl was born in early 1971. Think on her age now, as you hear or read this, and pray for her and all her family to follow their Creator God.

Upon hearing that I have lived in Japan for 50 years, you might be wondering just how ancient I am. Well, to find out, read the record of my birth, in Chapter 3 of my autobiography titled; For We Are Journeying”. It is in the Book section of my website. That URL is Christ Is All dot US. Separate those 3 words with 2 dashes. Christ dash Is dash All dot US.


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