Thursday, April 2, 2009
Mommy, is it time to go home yet?
Many do not know this piece of information about the American Christian Church's response to the orphan crisis.
30% of Christians say they have considered adoption.
1% actually adopt.
Dear "30%", I write to you in love today. Is the Holy Spirit stirring your heart? Has He given you a precious window of response to Him? Respond. Before its too late. Respond before He allows you heart to be hardened. Before you start believing and saying things, like "well, nows not the right time anyway--how complicated this would make things?"or," How could our family take this on in 'these times'? "The poor, The orphan who are they really?" or, "Didn't Jesus say that the poor will always be with us?" (my least favorite!-a misquote of Deuteronomy 15:11 and Jesus' use of it with the woman with the costly perfume--but that's any entry to come soon...),"we just can't afford it", "People wouldn't understand", "People,people, people...", "Our family wouldn't get it--let me take care of smoothing feelings first.", "Our family photo would look really different on the Christmas card" "Does God really speak to me?","Those kids are so far away","It could (gasp!) bring sacrifice to our children--we may have to live sacrificially financially, time-wise, or in other ways", "what if they do not bond to me?", "what if this breaks my heart?","could my children share me with another child?","we should wait until things are smoother--maybe when the job 'settles' or the kids are older","what if we get sick?", "what if this tires us out?", "but I'm really following Him right now--would He call me to this too?","I'll lose my decorating,or gardening, or vacation, or latte,or this season's clothing,or insert your favorite focus here_________fund in our budgeting--could I REALLY live without that?" "We just won't fit in...", "those people who adopt have some need to 'collect' children how selfish THEY are!--they just can't stop!", or some more of my least favorites, "we just wouldn't be as peaceful a family anymore--it would create ripples here." and "I really don't know how we would do it anyway--my heart really could only love my own children -- that's who I am really responsible for...", "what DOES the Word really say about orphans?--I just haven't been taught that this is MY problem--that I am responsible--leave me alone nagging feeling that won't go away!" -- be careful--it just may go away...
And out of love for you, precious child, I pray that if you are being stirred, that you will honestly converse with God about all or any of these questions--also called--EXCUSES.-- He gives us windows of time to obey Him. And as you deliberate--143 million -- a nation of children-- are waiting and growing and dying. The same God who we call, Father, is their champion. He rises to see to their protection--He cares for them and sets His angels charge over them. They are each as precious to Him as the cherubic faces tucked into our beds upstairs. "Mommy, can I have a glass of water? "squeaks a precious, familiar voice, so dear to our heart, and we run with delight to serve these children. "Mommy can I go home now?" and we swing hands on the walk home. Perhaps God has a child for you, which He has planned since the beginning of the world. Perhaps He is whispering, maybe shouting to your heart? and a little one with perhaps different eyes or a song in their lovely voice is calling out your name at night. He doesn't get tucked in. She really needs a cup of water. He is lost and needs to be swooped up into a Daddy's strong embrace. Remember the story of Samuel? The correct response to God's voice, His calling is, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." Ask, Answer,Obey--if it is "today" beware of the hardened heart--it will lie to you and speak such smooth words to you--it will assure you you are making the most prudent and best decisions...that you can always revisit this later, when He calls again...Will He?
Not my Words but His: " Give heed to my reproof; behold, I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you...But he who listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of evil." Proverbs 1:23&33 (read this passage it is very clear about listening to God's voice and His response to our listening or lack of)
This may not be your message above. Adoption is a specific calling to a unique child. What is clear in scripture is that we all are to care about, and visit the orphan, and relieve their needs. Another misthought is the idea that if we just have beds in our home,extra food and clothing or stuff or an extra bedroom or budget that this is our ticket to being an adoptive parent. NO. Not so. I love in Hebrews how God, when He speaks of our adoption as sons says that He is RAISING up many as sons. Some may not be called to do the RAISING up that these children need. For it is not just placing food in their mouths and placing them in a "safe" spot in front of Dora the Explorer. NO! They need to be discipled and raised up in the fullest of ways and we need to stop guilt-tripping the "rich"--most of us in the Western world ARE rich compared to the world.-- We do not want to force children into places where they are not being called to be raised up with full rights and privileges as sons. We don't just feed or clothe our own children but teach them and hug them and sing with them and counsel them--it is a full-time,life-long occupation, isn't it?
Adoption comes from the Greek word meaning "the placing of a son". It is taking a person into the family as a son and giving him all the privileges of a natural son. Some of us need to stop judging other by the number of their bedroom count or the brand of their clothing or car and just let them listen to God's specific call for them to help His orphaned children.
Some of you may be the "senders" and God may be as powerfully speaking to you about giving resource to orphanages, giving to adoption agencies, or taking an family who has an adoptive heart under your wing and caring for their financial needs. LISTEN. He may be sharing shocking ideas with you that may be sacrificial as well. REMEMBER the parable of that Jesus told of a man who sold everything to go purchase a field? Well he did just that. And guess what he knew? The field contained a treasure, a pearl of great price. He understood that pearl was worth far more than the processions in his hand and what they presently were affording him. He sold it, ALL. He gained EVERYTHING. This is a picture of living in the kingdom of God.
The early Christians got this. They understood this far better then us. In Acts it speaks of how they shared everything. And elsewhere, it is written that God's heart is not that some would have much and other's nothing but that we would understand that as followers of Christ our resource should be distributed equally among us so that need is taken care of among the believers and so that the poor are well taken care of. Ouch, that hurts. But our processions really aren't ours--they all come from our Father (James 1). I bet I'm stomping on your toes but I'm a really poor dancer when it comes to preserving people's false beliefs and feelings over what is Truth and what knowledge really will bring LIFE to your life.
You need to know how desperate your brothers and sisters who have been called to adoption are for your financial help. They need much more than what you have been giving them so far--a pat on the back and a "I so admire what you are doing. I certainly couldn't do this myself! I'm not called to it." Sometimes fundraising efforts so drain them of focus and energy that by the time they reach their children, they have not had any time to prepare their hearts and souls and family structures --to dig deep and get shored up for the real push--the raising up of a son or daughter. The paperwork and legalese is enough to label it a full-time job and in addition they are frantically raising redemption costs --some of which would be a third or much more of their family's take home salary. This may not be the same proportion for you. Or maybe it would but God is calling you to be the financial wagon to carry a child home. Let me tell you brothers and sisters--we need much more than the wagons we have now--lets get a TRAIN going!! I know the resources are out there--to take care of one, two, more even a family a year for some of you. I see the vacations, the new pool or car,the cutest outfits,the gorgeous home decorations--could just one of these things be traded for lives? ORPHANS ARE OUR FATHER'S CHILDREN SO THEY ARE ALREADY IN OUR FAMILY. EACH ORPHAN YOU SEE REALLY DOES BELONG TO YOU. THEY DO NOT JUST BELONG TO "THE CALLED". YOU DO HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO THEM. FIND OUT WHAT IT IS.
Have any of you seen Schindler's List? Well, it is NOT an easy movie to watch in the least. There is one scene in that movie that haunted me. It brought me in some ways to the decision to adopt and to keep the orphan before my heart. It is the end of the war and of the Nazi occupation. The precious Jewish people that Schindler has saved--by redemption money costs--are all grouped around him at a train station. He is saying goodbye. They are saying thank you. As he looks over them--just hundreds of souls grouped around him, he pats his luxury car. and says something like, "This could have been 20 lives." and he reaches into his coat for his watch and pulls it out , "and this 10 lives" by this time he is collapsing in grief, he spots his lapel pin, pinned over his heart and takes it off and cradles it, "this... 2 lives". "I could have done so much more..." Perhaps you are generous, I'm sure you are. But could God be calling you to more--a new level of generosity that could be ...shocking...that could buy a pearl...save lives? Perhaps the "Samuel...Samuel...?" is being whispered or shouted into your ears as well. He who has ears to hear, let him hear...Obey Him while it is still, "today"...
"Oh that today you would hearken to His voice!
Harden not your hearts, as at Mer i -bah
as on the day at Mas sah in the wilderness" Psalm 95:7b&8
"Light rises in the darkness for the upright;
the Lord is gracious, merciful,
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;'he will be remembered for ever.
He is not afraid of evil tidings;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady, he will not be afraid,
until he sees his desire on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;" Psalm 112:4-9