Sunday, June 16, 2013

for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these

Palmer (saying our lunchtime blessing):   Thank you, God, for Web, Hank, Barrett, Evie, S, and our new little girl, Faith Ana. Help her to have a good day at her orphanage and help her to be able to come home soon.

Me:   Palmer, that was a great prayer. Thank you for remembering to pray for Faith.

Barrett:   Who "Dafe"? 

Me:   Barrett, what did you say? Take your {pink} paci out of your mouth so I can understand you.

Barrett (repeating himself):   Who "Dafe"? 

Palmer (interpreting for Barrett):   He's asking who Faith is?

Me:   Barrett, do you remember when Momma showed you her picture and told you about her? Faith is our new little girl. She's going to be your new sister. She lives at an orphanage and one day soon, Momma and Daddy are going to go there and get her and bring her home. She's going to be part of our family, just like S. And, Barrett, Faith has a hurt back and her legs don't work. She can't walk, and we're going to have to help her and take care of her!

Barrett:   Ooooooh and we give her bandaid.

Me:   Yes, Barrett, we can give her a bandaid.

Barrett:   Right now.

Me:   Not now, buddy, but soon!

Once more, I'm reminded what it means to have a child-like faith!!! Simple and pure, void of all the common sense and worldly wisdom that we place on such a high pedestal. We look to doctors and listen to specialists and even let WebMD tell us what we should anticipate and expect, rather than looking with childlike eyes to the One who fashioned her in the first place. I often wish my faith was more like his. 

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.

When I look through her medical file and read words like spina bifida and vertical gaze palsy and Arnold Chiari Syndrome, it's easy to imagine the worst-case scenario. I dwell on how severe her need might be, how many surgeries she might require, and how different and difficult life might be with a child who is unable to walk. And I've shared this before, and I'm sure that I will share it again as we walk further and further down this road. There are many times that I become the one who is paralyzed. Paralyzed by fear, by doubts, by an overwhelming sense of the magnitude of how much life will change when this little one joins our family.

But not so much for Barrett. He looks at her picture and, well, her need is not nearly so worrisome or complicated. In his little mind, all she needs is one thing. He thinks in his childish innocence that a band-aid will solve all her problems and make her all better. And I love that! Because the truth is that all she really does need is just one thing. And I'm not talking about a Momma or a Daddy or a new family or some cutting-edge surgery to miraculously make her walk...Sure, all those things would be really good things for this precious little girl. But it's not The Best Thing. It's not The One Thing she truly needs.

A bandaid? He's far more. He's her Father, her Comforter, her Helper, her Defender, her Healer, and He alone is able to transform every hurting, broken place in her heart, in her mind, and also in her tiny, crippled body. He's never left her side. He's there with her now, and He's moving mountains to bring her out of that darkness and into our family.  And, oh my, what an amazing honor and privilege it will be to speak His name into her ear and sing the words that her older sister now knows by heart. I can't wait for Faith Ana to hear those words for the first time and one day to join Sophi in singing along. 

Jesus loves you, this I know!

I don't know what life is going to look like once Faith Ana comes home. I don't know what therapies she will need and what her long-term prognosis will be. I don't know if she will ever be able to live independently. I don't know how {practically, logistically, and financially} we will be able to meet all the needs of our ever-growing family. There are many, many unknowns, but one thing I do know - Jesus loves her. He loves all of them. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. There is no distinction in His eyes. The ones that no one else wants, the ones that time and time again get passed over because of their age or their diagnosis. The unchosen, least lovely, most helpless cases. He loves them, and He's called us to love them too! For our family, this means actually bringing these little girls into our home. For others, it might look different. But His command is quite clear...

For the Bible tells me so.

There are countless verses I could show you. Numerous passages in Scriptures that remind us God's heart for little children, but this one in particular the Lord keeps bringing to my mind. 

And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them,"Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all." And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands upon them.

Mark 10:13-16

Little ones to Him belong.

I know there are millions and millions of orphans all over the world who long to be chosen and loved. But the Lord continues to burden my heart for these precious children in Bulgaria. Yes, their needs are great, but we have a great God who can heal and redeem and transform even the most hopeless cases. I've read through the files of many of the little girls that you will see below, and, honestly, some of them appear {through our earthly eyes} to be lost causes. I'm sure that's the reason they've been on list after list for month after month and have never even been considered...

There is one particular little girl that I have been praying for, and {according to our adoption agency} has never even had a single family show interest in her. This beautiful, tiny girl was born with congenital bilateral cataracts, an entirely treatable condition. But instead of the surgery she needed, an operation which could have improved the quality of her life and possibly helped her regain some vision back, she was abandoned at her orphanage and remains there today, 5 years later, a blind and broken little girl. And it breaks my heart, and I know it breaks His. And, I wonder, if we had eyes of faith, if we couldn't look at her picture and read through her file and realize that maybe, just maybe, there really is just One Thing she needs. Maybe our eyes are the ones that are blinded. 

They are weak, but HE is strong.

What if we all had eyes like Barrett? What if it really was as simple as giving these precious little ones a bandaid? Would our perspective be different? Would our hearts be more open and more willing to welcome these children into our homes? What if, instead of focusing on their myriad of problems, we kept our eyes on their Maker and their Healer? What if we simply looked to Him?

I'm praying now for eyes of faith just like my 2 year old. Will you join me tonight in praying for these little girls still waiting...

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