Friday, December 18, 2009
Imagine yourself standing on the curb holding your precious child. Look down and see the round cheeks of your baby, the bow-tie lips, and wisps of hair. Do you remember those days? Do you remember how your baby smelled? Now you see a school bus has arrived. It doesn't have any identifiers on it. The windows are tinted, and you don't see the bus driver. You don't even know where the bus is going. All you know is that in order for this precious baby you love so much to have any chance of a decent life you have to put your baby on that bus. You don't know if you will ever see that baby again. What is it that you feel? Is it overwhelming sadness or grief? With tears streaming down your face, you study your cherub's face and features, hoping that maybe one day, just maybe, you'll recognize the sweet face again. Many of you moms are saying or thinking right now, "There's no way I'd put my baby on that bus." But what if you had no way of feeding and clothing your baby? What if you didn't have a roof over your own head? Times are tough right now, ladies. What if you didn't have a job or health coverage for a baby who needed it? The bus offered that security for your baby. Could you then? How destitute would you have to be before you placed your baby with someone else for them to adopt and rear as their own? How destitute would you have to be?
It's a gut-wrenching decision. You say or you think this doesn't happen; this isn't real life. But for many women who choose to place their babies for adoption, that is exactly what it feels like. Women who chose open adoption have a little more security and knowledge about where their baby is and who is loving their baby. Some even get to see their baby grow up. The act of a birth parent to place their baby for adoption is the most self-sacrificing and self-less kind of love. It is second to laying down your life, and there is only one who has done both. You see, our heavenly Father is the original Birth Father. He chose who would be the earthly parents for Jesus. I can tell you from personal experience, it is an extremely humbling moment when another woman asks you to raise her unborn child. Mary was already a humble servant of the Lord. I cannot begin to imagine all the emotions she must have felt and gone through, knowing she had been chosen and at such a young, vulnerable age. There is also great joy as well as uncertainty that comes with being a chosen parent. You not only want to be a great parent because you love your baby with all your heart but because you want to show this birth parent that they made a good choice. And how rewarding it is to hear that birth parent tell you, you are doing a good job. To hear them say, "I made a good decision in choosing you," is just an unexplainable reward. I wonder if God gave her some reassurances from time-to-time.
The thing about God being the original Birth Father is that He did it knowing that His only Son would have to die a tortuous death. I'm sorry, but I couldn't put either one of my children on the bus I described if I knew that kind of end would come to my baby. Do you see the face of your baby? God chose to come to earth in the form of a baby. Thirty-three years must have flown by. It must have felt as if Jesus was born one day, and the next day was Calvary. How did He not live in dread? I'll tell you how. Somehow His love for you, His love for me is so great that He was willing to sacrifice One for the good of many. He realized the pain He would endure was temporary and that there was good that would come from it. No, not good. Great things would come from His birth, death, and resurrection. Great things for us, His adopted children.
If God's first act of choosing adoptive parents wasn't a big enough act of love for you, then the cross definitely is. And if you put the two together, you have to agree that it is an overwhelming, all-consuming kind of love. My question for you is this: What are you doing with His
love? Were His sacrifices for nothing? This kind of love is to be shared. It is to be on purpose. Take time this holiday season to love on the unlovely, to love on the unsuspecting. Take time this holiday to make contact with that checker at the store, the person who takes out your groceries, the one who waits on your table. Let's show them why we love this season and why we choose to say, "Merry Christmas." We have much to be thankful for, and I am thankful for each of you.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
This is my all-time, most favorite time of the year. I love everything about it – the cool weather, football, the changing of the leaves, Thanksgiving followed by Christmas which means good food, family and friends. I do have to admit I have to do an attitude check from time-to-time because my focus gets off what is important which usually means I've put the focus on myself. My feelings get hurt. I get tired, snappy, short or make caddy remarks that have no business being said much less being thought. Anybody with me? Sometimes we get caught up in keeping score: "Well, I brought this last time," or "This is my responsibility: I do it every year." When I hear those kind of words come out of someone it makes me wonder about their heart and their focus.
It isn't for us to keep score. That's not your job or mine. Proverbs 20:27 says, "God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out." (The Message translation) When we allow God to keep score and deal with things, then we are able to maintain our focus on what is important like loving on others and serving others, we find our attitude changes, our burdens lifted. And wouldn't that make for a much more pleasant holiday season for everyone?
Each of us is a precious daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let's be gracious daughters of the King as well exercising mercy, extending love and a willing hand with a gentle spirit, emulating His generosity, and executing Christ-like behavior not only in actions but in speech as well. Look for opportunities to practice your precious, princess-self remembering you represent your Father.
Love to you all.