Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vanity and 160 Million Plus

It has been a month to the day since my last post and I have been so busy...not being busy. That's right. I am learning to slow down - somewhat against my will. You see, I am a spinner by nature; a stuffer and a spinner. In order to deal with stuff that I am uncomfortable with (fear, lonliness, inadequecy, etc) I fill my life to the point of spinning (think hamster in a wheel). Then I stuff my emotions. I feel like part of the reason I have been called to stay home during this time is to do some healing from this behavior and it has been very uncomfortable for me, but it has also been very good.

I have been grieving the foster kids who left recently; even the ones who left over a year ago. I've been reading through Psalms and making picture books for each of them. Allowing myself to remember things about them and cry.

I have also been taking care of myself. Running, cooking, reading my bible, sitting outside.

I have been falling more and more in love with Isaiah every day. Which is so scary to me, but amazing.

Recently, there was a legal glitch in Isaiah's case and even though Matt and I both felt like the Lord was calling us to take a break from accepting placements I immediatly started trolling for more children to add to our family. I was spinning. My thought process was that if something happens with Isaiah, I need a back-up. I know, right? Silly and twisted, but these are the things the Lord is working on in this season of my life. And while taking on another child would have been perceived from the outside as good, maybe a little crazy, but also noble and loving, it would have been a fear response that had nothing to do with loving and serving God and his children. It would have been self-serving attempt to control God's plan in my life.

Now, I have always had a burden for those who've been tossed aside by this world: the hurting, the orphans, the poor, the ill, the marginalized. One of the things that intially drew me to Jesus was that he is all about those people. I am too, sometimes. I have been a special ed teacher, a regular volunteer at AIDS hospices and homeless shelters, a foster parent, I have put together fabulous outreach programs, etc, blah, blah, blah. But even doing things that we classify as "good" when left unharnessed by our intimacy with God and guidance from the Holy Spirit can turn ugly and self-serving. At the height of my outward "holiness" when I was doing the "most for Jesus," I was ill, worn out, spiritually malnourished, and my ego barely fit in any room. I thought that if I didn't feed the homeless, or sit with the dying, or organize events, or foster children, or any other "Christian" thing - no one would. Vanity and bullshit. What a combination, right? God cared for the marginalized long before I did. This perfomance-based mentality has not gotten me anywhere and in the midst of my twirling and saving the world I often hear the whisper of "It's not about being good, its about knowing ME."

The new numbers have just come out and there are currentlyl 160 million orphans in the world (and that's a number that is growing daily) and it breaks my heart. I hate the thought of people, of children, not belonging. But they do belong. They belong to HIM. After all it was HIM who said:

John 14:18-20
"I will not leave you orphaned. I'm coming back."

Psalm 68
"Father of orphans,
champion of widows,
is God in his holy house.
God makes homes for the homeless..."

Deuteronomy 10:18
“He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.”

Psalm 10:14
“But You, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.”

Matthew 18:5
“Whoever receives a child in My name, receives Me.”

Matthew 25: 45
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these, you did it unto Me.”

Deuteronomy 14:28-30
“The Levite (priest), because he has not portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”

Deuteronomy 26:12-14
“You shall say before the Lord your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.”

I didn't say any of that...

It is satisfying to know that it is not about me. Not what I can do. Not how good I can be. Or how I can change the world. But that all I have to do is listen to Him. And say yes to the crazy stuff he asks me to do. And rely on Him.

When we got Isaiah some prophesied over him that he would rest in the promises of God I have been praying that over him and now I am trying to do that myself.

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