Summer has passed and I don't know why my mind went here, but have you been to a water park that has a "Lazy River"? Better yet do you remember tubing down a river where a current, maybe even strong at times, pushes you downstream? It can be both a relaxing and an exhilarating experience. It feels like Lisa and I have entered into one of these currents, but this is not a river of water, but rather it is God's Spirit opening our hearts to adoption.
Since we married, Lisa and I have talked about being open to adoption one day. Until the past few weeks, we haven't sensed a burden Â moving us toward acting upon our desires. Suddenly, the current is upon us and Lisa and I have been swept off our feet by the Father of all orphans. He is so specifically directing us down a path (or river) which has changed our conversation from the conceptual toward reality.
As you know, this is not the most favorable time to take on this kind of responsibility. Our economy is challenging all of us and expanding a family makes no economic sense. In addition, we depend on the giving of others and this requires additional friends and funds to find. I was sharing some of this with one of my teammates and he shared with me that one of things he loves about being on our staff is that our mission has trained us to develop a reckless faith. I thought about that, and I do think Lisa and I are applying some of that training here. As senseless and crazy as this is, we still feel the push of this current.
I have enjoyed reading/listening through the bible at a brisk pace this past summer and into the fall. I was enjoying some of the last of the 66 letters God has written to us. In 1 John chapter 3, some verses have imprinted upon my mind. I listened to the letter over and over and Â these verses continued to surface to the top. Here is what they say,
16-17This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God's love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.
When We Practice Real Love
18-20My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. (The Message: Eugene Peterson)
Then I thought about the journey I have experienced reading through God's word in the past three months (I listened to Genesis - Revelations from June to now), and one of the things I heard in my time in the scriptures was how tenderly God speaks toward three people groups which are mentioned repeatedly. Do you know who these three groups are? They are orphans (or fatherless), widows, and aliens (or strangers). It is inescapable that these three people groups especially matter to God. It had caused me to pause and reflect where these show up in my priorities. Again I feel the current pushing us.
So last Friday found us sitting in an office called Celebrate Children International to explore how God might position us to be what the adoption culture calls "forever parents." It was surreal. We remain open. We are a bit scared, cautious, sobered, nervous, but strangely relaxed as we allow the current to keep flowing and carrying us where it may. We know that we are not alone in this. We feel God's presence. We have friends who have already provided a great deal of encouragement. We can't walk this road alone and thankfully so far, we haven't. We want and need you with us as we continue the journey. We covet your prayers and will do our best to keep you posted to new developments.