Friday, December 28, 2012

My Problem

      "It's not my problem..."

      On his knees in the garden, sweat and blood mixed on his forehead, knowing his hour had come. What if he stood up, brushed the dirt, wiped his forehead clean, and just walked away?

       After all, He did nothing to deserve this. It wasn't his fault that we are screwed up, making mistake after mistake, choosing our ways instead of his. He was faced with a choice... excruciating pain, headache, misery, death. All for a people who would mostly mock and reject him for the rest of time.

       But he said yes. He said yes to the pain, the cross, the death. For the glory of his Father, for the redemption of mankind. It wasn't his problem, but he made it his problem, and he became our solution.

        Because he said yes, we have a chance to be accepted in his family, children of God, sharing his name, his inheritance, his joy, his freedom. This is the Gospel.

         "It's not my problem..."

         Recently, the Russian government passed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children.

         We can look at this two ways:

          1. We can blame the Russian government as I did, with a "Good luck with your orphan problem, Putin" mentality. Or...

          2. We can look at the deeper issue, as I am now doing. We can look at the heart of God... the Gospel. We can look at how adoption represents the Gospel and His heart for the little ones who are fatherless, abandoned, abused, neglected. We can look at this problem, and we can make it our problem.

         Because we as a Church have had some issues. We like to be comfortable. We like our financial security, our organized families, our schedules, and we rarely like it when God rocks the boat. We love our neighbors as ourselves, but only if they stay over there and don't get their muddy shoes on our shiny carpets. We love our orphans, as long as they stay on the other side of the world and in National Geographic so we don't have to feel guilty.

        Why would we feel guilty? Because we know... Dear God, we know that as much as we want to say it's the country's problem or someone else's problem, we know.

         How do we know? Because His Words tell us to defend the fatherless, over and over and over again. Because we as the Church were created to be the expression of the Father's heart on this earth.

         The world loves to call us out as hypocrites, haters, judgmental, out-of-touch with reality.

         But could you imagine... Dear friend, could you imagine what would happen if we took this problem and became part of the solution?

         What if we consistently pounded the gates of heaven with our prayers that God would open countries to adoption? What if we got on our knees and pleaded for His little ones? What if we stepped in and financially supported adoptive parents?

          What if we quit our excuses... I'm too busy, my family is complete, I don't have the money, and simply called it what it is... Fear. Apathy. Selfishness.

           What if we quit with our judgments... Oh, they're adopting so they must not be able to have real children. I could never adopt a black child because I'm white.

           What if he said that about us? They're too much trouble. They are covered in sin. They're just going to reject me anyway.

           But he didn't.... because the redemption of mankind and his Father's glory was worth it.

           Just as every child is worth it.

           Can you imagine what would happen if we welcomed His little ones into our homes?

           The children with down syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, handicaps.

           The children from abusive backgrounds who don't know how to trust.

           The children with Reactive Attachment Disorder who are worth every ounce of his precious    blood.

            The sibling groups that will require extra time, attention, effort, finances, love.

            The foster care kids who just want stability.

            "But I can't do it!" you say.

            And it's true. You can't. Neither can I. He is our only hope. Our grace. Our strength.

           What if we as a Church took God at his word, believed that he is our strength, our provider, our healer, our redemption?

            Has God ever failed you before? Then why, when this is something so precious to him, would he abandon you if you said yes?

            I don't know what he is calling you to do, but whatever it is, say yes.

           Because, if the world witnessed the Church exhibiting the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it would hardly be able to look away. It is very hard to reject a love that is without condition. It is a love he has given us, and a love that he has called us to demonstrate.

           I will pray.

           I will accept that of I am going to call myself pro-life, then I must fight for the lives of little ones outside the womb, not just inside the womb.

          I will accept my calling as a follower of Jesus to love his little ones.

          I will fight.

         There are approximately 147 million orphans in the world.

         This is my problem.

         I will be the solution.


Saturday, December 15, 2012


“You can always come home”, he whispers to me as we say good-bye.

 I can usually hold back the tears until this point when I look up and see his eyes, the eyes that match my own, filling.

And then I lose it, my face contorting in that awful, ugly cry.

Because really, those are the words I need as I leave to face the world. I know they will always love me, but sometimes, I need to be reminded there is always a place.

There is always home.

And last night, I wrapped my arms around her as tears threatened my eyes, poured from her own.

She said good-bye to us, her family for the last year. We knew this day was coming, but it was too soon. Our minds filled with words we wanted to say, words we meant to say, but really, how do you let them out when this person you love is leaving, and you don’t know if this goodbye is for now or forever?

“You can always come home”, I whisper to her as she leaves us.

This stranger in my arms has become my little sister, and the building behind us is home. Our home.

And I think about the news today… little ones who will never come to their homes, sit at kitchen tables, sleep in their beds, fight with their siblings, and greet their parents with the beautiful faces fresh from a long night’s sleep.

For so many other little ones, home has changed its definition. It meant safety, rest. But now their innocence is broken and this world that used to feel so familiar now hangs like an oversize sweater in July. Scratchy, uncomfortable, out of place.

What do you do when home isn’t home anymore?

I have said good byes before, whispered in the ears of little ones struggling, aching, “Go home.” And it hurts because you want them to fight, to press on, to live. Because this is all my human mind can comprehend. This life, this skin, this air, these walls. But I let them go.

Because I know.

I know this isn’t home.

He is.

And the words whispered by my Daddy echo His heartbeat…

My little one, you can always come home.

When the world doesn’t make sense, when the pain is so deep I can barely breathe,

When it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, and I can’t see beyond this moment. I can’t understand.

When I fail. Again. And the shame overwhelms and the guilt covers me like a wet blanket.

My little one, you can always come home.

Because He is home. He is my rest, my safety. So even though I can’t comprehend how in the world this can be used for His good purpose, I run.

I run to Him. My peace, my love. I run to His arms. And I breathe.

And I am home.