Friday, December 16, 2011

A High Calling

Lately I've noticed I have a bunch.. and I mean a BUNCH... of friends that are adopting children. Some are from overseas, some are from local orphanages, some are with disabilities, some with developmental issues. Some have loving families behind them, some have been willfully neglected. I sit back and watch. and listen. and learn from my friends. I ask questions, I linger over their pictures. I imagine my family taking on another child, one that did not come from our bodies, but a stranger, and I don't know if I could do it. I know Biblically, we are called to care for orphans. These poor children who are left mother and fatherless. A generation with no one to love them with a pure heart. An innocent child that can not defend, let alone provide for itself and who is at the mercy... literally... of kindness from strangers. As I snuggle my little guy in the mornings, or pack lunches for my boys, or pray with my strikes me that these orphans have no one to do that for them.

I then feel like something must be wrong with me to not have the desire to have more children under my roof. But I don't. Not now. But I've also learned enough to never say never, because well.. God has a wonderful sense of humor. So for now, I say that the route of adoption is not for us. I know that if it were to be an avenue God wanted my husband and I to pursue, He would give us that burning desire and open the gates of blessing to make it happen. I'm content in keeping my heart, hearth and home fires burning for the children I already have and for their father.

But still, I admire and I wonder. I see the unique equipping that not only the family as a unit has to care for these orphans, but the individual giftings of the mothers-and-fathers-to-be have been given. It takes a special kind of somethin' to be chosen to walk that road; and I marvel deep inside when I see families unite and grow together. Not separating the root from the branches. And I think of how that's exactly the love of God is, shining thru to us as we are His adopted sons and daughters.

And again, I wonder what's wrong with me? Why haven't I been chosen? I wanna be like those people. I want to please God and receive the blessings and the joy that they have coming to them because of their selfless act of simply loving another person. >>stomping my feet<<. Nah, nah, nah. Could my whine get any louder?

And then yesterday a friend of mine had written that he feels that the most of his ministry is 'being present in people's lives', to which a friend of his replied 'exactly....just like Jesus.'


So then, why do I feel the guilt and shame for not welcoming a child into our home? It's because I had settled on only one part of the verse. I was assuming that because we are a young family, we should *naturally* gravitate towards children. But when I really put my life into perspective, I see that God has already equipped me for service to His commandment.

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble,
[and] to keep oneselfunspotted from the world..." James 1:27

When I read on, I realize that there is another *group* of people mentioned in this verse. Widows.

And in a true watershed moment, in the way that God always does for me, while I was getting ready for my day, thinking about all the things I have to *DO*, my eyes were opened to the truth of His calling. I have people in my life that ARE widows and need to be cared for and loved. I usually associate the care of widows with the visiting of the elderly in convalescent homes or hospitals. And well, there are people older than me who do that already. But no. What this verse is saying and what was illuminated by my friend's statement yesterday, is that I never paid attention to the duty as a Christ follower that I have towards these people. Or for the natural bent I have to *just be* with them. I have not been intentional with my faith. I've let my haphazard way of living get in the way of making strides for the kingdom of God.

I'm not saying that I feel the need to evangelize to a rec room of people at a retirement community. I'm saying that I need to stretch out my hand in companionship to these women intentionally. Not to shy away from their phone calls. Or shrink back at their offer to come over for a visit. It is a high calling and something that will stretch me and grow me into the fullness of who He wants me to be.

There's something about looking into the eyes of a child that hold the mysteries of heaven. But there is something equally as mesmerizing as gazing into clouded eyes that hold the hope of home. Thank you, Lord, for knowing me better than I know myself and for equipping me for your good work.


Amy Hussar said...

I feel the call to foster children, but it's not the right time yet. I think all of my kids need to be school age first. Then again, I will "know" when the time is right.

Nancy said...

Is that your neighbor? How cool it is when God reveals another piece of the puzzle, exactly when we are ready.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! That was so beautifully written! And as someone who is adopting, you have opened my eyes, to see if I am following that verse to the best of my ability too. Like you, I just assumed that we should adopt children into our young family, and that was the right thing to do but I can't forget the widows either....