Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why not?

Why don't we do the things we give a thumbs-up? The things we admire others for doing, even encouraging them while not doing it ourselves. The things we genuinely have a heart for. The things that come to mind over and over again. Wonderful things that can change the world.

But for some reason, these things go undone.

It could be any number of things... Donating hair to Locks of Love, becoming a stay-at-home parent, giving your time and/or money to a favorite charity, becoming a missionary, tithing. The list is endless.

My undone thing is being a foster parent.

At the age of nine, I decided I wanted to foster and adopt until old age. Hundreds of kids. The unloved. The rejected. The lonely.

As I grew up, got married and had children of my own, other things began to factor in. I'm no longer alone with the ideas and dreams of a third grade girl. I carry the responsibilities that come with the positions of wife and mother.

In our case, I think the number one undoing is fear... or perhaps it's selfishness. The unknowns of how it would affect our boys, our marriage, our finances. The heartache and difficulty that go hand-in-hand with loving a broken child into wholeness. But... Oh the benefits! Loving the child into wholeness is the reason for fostering and/or adopting!

Our second undoing is the matter of timing and life circumstance. Are our boys old enough to understand and get behind the idea of bringing another child into our home? Am I ready and capable of mothering another child? Do we have enough "free time" to commit to the process of getting qualified to foster (I don't even know what that process is called!)?

And the third undoing is the question... "Is God calling us to do this, or is it all my big idea?" Which may be less of a question and more of a cop out.

I really don't know where we'll end up with all this. I know there are other ways to help. Many other ways. But why not give a precious child a loving home if we're able?

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'"

-Matthew 25:34-40 (The Msg)

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