The following was written by an AW adoptive mom of two from Ethiopia.
“Who does your Mama love?” “Me ~ and everybody!”
Tears come often and easily these days. I have often asked my children who
their Mama loves? This morning, I had to clarify when my nine year old son
added: “and everybody.” He told me, “you love everybody.” Wow! That is the
nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me. I have to admit that I am pretty
much in love with the entire world these days. This has not always been so. Let
me attempt to explain.
How many times have my circumstances dictated my attitude? For years, I wondered how to find joy? I could be joyful on those rare occasions when all was right with my little world. When the house was orderly, the children behaved, money in the bank, weeds out of the garden. When my friends were friendly enough, the weather warm enough and my love tank full enough. Needless to say, joy eluded me.
I worked endless hours, laboring to keep my world tidy enough. My love and affection were reserved for those who were “with the program” and furthering not hindering progress and order. So when a kind and loving God intervened to rescue me from myself and “ruin” my life, you can imagine the crisis that ensued.
The bottom of my fragile tidy world began dropping out a little over two years ago. I began reading books which questioned the American dream. Books which challenged me to wonder if there wasn’t more to life than getting ahead, having more flowers than the neighbors and growing retirement accounts? These questions basically took everything that I held dear, turned them upside down and gave them a good shake. This started a rebellion in me like nothing I had ever experienced. Suddenly, I questioned everything! Was there more to life than me and my little world?
Dear friends did not understand what was happening to me. I didn’t understand what was happening to me for that matter. My husband didn’t understand either until he started down the same path a few months later. As I began to ask questions as to why we and the church did things the way we were doing them, it was not well received by all. The fallout was more painful than anything I ever imagined. I was rejected by some who I thought loved me, those who felt condemned by my questioning.
Soon, the things that I had previously held dear lost their appeal. I had a tendency toward reckless spending and my husband tended toward caring too much about the balance on our bank account. This produced considerable conflict over the years. Soon though, I didn’t want to waste a dime and he wanted to give it all away. What fun it has been to finally have unity with our finances. Suddenly, we’re of one accord in using our blessings to bless.
Next, the word of God began leaping off the pages to me. Suddenly, I saw love and blessing everywhere! I had been operating under a system of judging those around me and reserving my love for them until they conformed to my way of thinking and clean living. Now I was seeing Jesus move freely among the sick and the naughty extending love and grace.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2: 24-26
What beautiful words! My job is not to fix people but rather to show kindness, gentleness, endurance and patience all the while praying that God will do the work of granting repentance. How freeing are those words! I no longer need to carefully screen those who I might choose to love. I am free to show kindness to all and leave the rest to God.
Next, enter the orphans. I read of an adoptive father who said: “The closer we draw to Christ, the less we can choose who we love.” God led our family down a path to extend love to the fatherless. This is where life really took a turn for the CRAZY!!!