I walked the hallway of my 800 square foot apartment and I wrestled. There were these two girls who needed a home and while my first response was an absolute no, I wrestled, because why did their beautiful pixie faces still haunt me?
I wrestled because I wanted to be a mom and I wrestled because these two little girls were not the miracle I wanted from God.
And I read these words that day, and I read them three times, and I cried every time.
If the compassion of the world is “We do not want unwanted children born into the world,” then the compassion of the Gospel has to be far more powerful. The compassion of Christ-followers needs to literally and practically and sacrificially be: “We do want all the children born into this world.” – Ann Voskamp
I cried each time, because each time I read the words my heart asked, What makes me pro-life? Being pro-life can’t just be about working to change the laws of a land or voting for pro-life government leaders or organizing ways to spread pro-life awareness, as important as these things might be.
To have credibility in lobbying for laws against the abortion of babies, we must have the dependability of opening our doors for the welcoming of children. – Ann Voskamp
I wrestled because I faced a question that begged for an answer, regardless of whether we opened our home to the two little girls or not. Is my heart open to all children? Does my life wrap itself around all children? Do I value all life?
One crazy journey later, there’s a sleeping baby boy upstairs and I sit here at my desk and stare through blinds at yellow-red leaves. Somewhere there’s a lawn mower blowing and my oven beeps ready.
And I’m still wrestling over these questions.
Is my heart open to all children? Does my life wrap itself around all children? Do I value all life?
I ask myself what I really value because I have realized how selfish I am since having that beautiful boy sleeping in his bed upstairs. Days like that Saturday come to mind…that Saturday it took me two hours to make a meal that should have only taken me a half hour, because he wouldn’t settle.
There have been lots of confrontations with my own crumbling humanity since becoming a mom.
Why did I want to be a mom? Was it because I valued children?
Why did I pursue the journey of fostering a child? Was it because I really had a vision for the fatherless?
Have my longings flowed out of a life focused on and caring for the things of me or the things of God?
I cannot just have children or obtain children, just because that’s what you do after you get married, or because it’s in vogue. Children are not about cute nurseries and adorable outfits or my identity as a woman. Children are souls, and to enter into the realm of parenthood is a tremendously high and beautiful calling.
James 1:27 says this: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
I care about James 1:27. I care even more about what James 1:27 means for the Christian community. But in this age where fostering and adoption is fast becoming the “thing to do”, I struggle. My friend, Janelle, in reference to their little foster boy, says this: “It’s not about growing our family but being the hands and feet of Christ.”
I cannot love and care for the fatherless out of mere passion, it is not sustainable. I cannot love and care for the fatherless unless I first care for the ones already given to me, it is not fair. I can certainly not love and care for the fatherless unless I have first walked through the fields of the fatherless with the Father, and wrestled through the deep waters of my own humanity, and stood face to face with the afflictions of my own heart.
Because it is only then that I can say a loud, resounding yes.
Yes to God. Yes to this high calling of parenthood. Yes to life. Yes to God’s heart for the orphan and the abandoned.
This is not something we do because we just love babies, although it may start there.
We care for them because He cares for us.
We reach for them because we are the hands and feet of Christ.
We love them, because He first loved us.
And it is when I know this Great Love that I can unreservedly be this great love.