Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Do your Kids Deserve Adoption?? warning: thoughts in process

The kitchen door slammed for the hundredth time against our faded pistachio wall.  Frames rattled their annoyance right along with mine.  I turned with a jerk.  Sweat drizzled down her dirt-stained cheeks.  Her face flushed, she ran in and tugged at my shorts, "mommy can I have some water?  The butterflies won't let me catch them!"  Turning toward her, I got down on my knees, Tinker Bell cup in hand, smiled sweetly and said, "I'd be thrilled to offer you this water, but first I need to remind you that you don't deserve this.  didn't you slam the door open?  look at the mud you brought into the house!  It's all over your face."  With arms outstretched, "I really shouldn't offer you my kindness, and you need to remember that.  Now doesn't that make the reality that I'm giving you this water even more special?  I really shouldn't but I'm going to.  Because it really is all about me.  Delight in my water.  I'm so generous I'm going to overlook the messes you continually make.  I'll overlook the circumstances of your birth.  Because that's who I am. There's nothing you've done that could earn my water.  Now that we both know the playing terms, feel free to drink."

Is anyone else choking?!  I know it's a crazy analogy but I needed to flesh out what my throat does every time I hear "I don't deserve you Jesus."  The Christian group Plumb has a beautiful song with those words in the title.   I'm singing loudly in my van but I can't choke those words out.  I can't get past that wall of shame to receive the hug on the other side.  "Not deserving" is like a thorn that snags the sweater of warmth and comfort.  By singing the words it's as if I have to pay homage--bow to the God who reminds me that I'm unworthy.  Do You want my unworthiness continually before me?  Are you saying that I need to acknowledge that when it comes down to it, You really shouldn't love me?  Like a leash around my ankles, You'll yank if I get too far into a kingdom of freedom.  I still have to pay, even if it's remembering I'm unworthy and undeserving.  I drop my sweaty worthless coin in the bucket at the doorpost of your throneroom.  Maybe you'll think I'm special if I humbly remind you there's nothing special about me.  As I bow my knee before a holy God and look into His pleading eyes--I speak the words, "I'm so undeserving." Where does my gaze fall? to my dirt-stained sneakers. I can't say the words and hold His gaze.

If you've adopted a child, how long would you want them to whisper, "I didn't deserve this rescue" as you tuck them under the covers? a year later would it bring tears to your eyes to hear them playfully singing off the back porch, "you didn't have to love me, but you did, I'm so undeserving, unworthy of your love"? Do you keep their adoption papers on the kitchen table, so that with every bite they're reminded from whence they came? Did the word "deserve" ever enter your mind as you were anxiously, longingly scanning websites looking for your adoptive child? When do the terms of their entry into your kingdom become overtaken by their daily presence within it? Why can we say that every child deserves a safe, loving home simply because they are human, but yet we get nervous when someone suggests we deserve God's forever home?

At this point in the discussion my opponents would make sure that I make the distinction between deserving love and deserving forgiveness. No I can't do anything to earn forgiveness- I get that- but
unfortunately Christians get caught in this whirlpool that filters the real truth of adoption down to the bottom of the pool and get distracted with all the unworthy leaves swirling on top. Once we have found our way back home, the adoption is sealed. Done. Over. Your past, your failures, your neediness are no longer on the table for discussion. The prodigal Father shouted "Quickly!!" Why? so that his son's shame wouldn't overtake him. Not for a minute did the Father need to hear his son's confession. His son's act of returning told Him everything He needed to know.

Abba what do I need to know? "Elaine, please walk through the doorway of the cross.  There's a whole kingdom to explore.  By believing you're not deserving, you paint Me with one hand open and one hand closed.  Why do you need to keep reminding Me you're unworthy?  why shouldn't I love?  because you believe what's wrong with you  is way bigger than what's right?  which came first, the glory of Genesis 2 or the shame of Genesis 3?" 

As His eyes light up and welcome me into them, He speaks without speaking, "I'm thrilled to see you Elaine! " Joy explodes from His face!  He picks me up off those crusty Converse rubber soles and lifts me skyward, twirling as we go.  He reminds me that at the infinitesimal moment I welcomed Him into my spirit, He flooded me with the spirit of adoption.  His Spirit cried within me Abba Father and in a flash of lightning I became born from above! 

. "Yes, I say Yes to each one of you!  Always and forever love.  You do deserve it.  Why? I formed you in your mother's womb.  Let's Quickly deal with this sin issue and put it behind Us forever.  Behind the cross.  Now take My hand and skip into My kingdom of light and immeasurable glory.  Mine and your's."  Amen!

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