Thursday, June 5, 2014

When the only thing you can call your own is this.....

         He had a crib, with his name attached.....he was clothed and his basic needs were met to the best of their ability.  But ultimately, he had nothing to calls his own.....except for this.....


       One binky....with slits on each side.....  We handed over the clothes we brought and they swiftly took him away.  He came back in his new....his own.....outfit.  And before we left, they gave us this one belonging of his.  I had honestly assumed it would be passed on, and had been surprised all along that on each trip he still had this same pacifier.  We replaced it with a new one when we arrived at the hotel.....it took great effort to keep it in.....the strain in his face evident.  But I carefully put this one aside, placed it in his memory box when we arrived home.  And just came across it the other day as I rummaged through his box......

      For some reason I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.  Imagining what it would be like....for this to be the only thing to call your own...... For others to go on about their lives, with so very much and think they don't have enough.....money, time, support from others, whatever it may be.....to share.  It's really not even about the number of possessions to one's name......as it is about our hearts, our perspective, our priorities.  Sometimes I pride myself in living simply, or at least in my efforts to save and not be frivolous.  And then there are always these few more things we need to save up for and then we'll be all set.  Then we can save even more....give more.  Somehow when those things are scratched off the list, they're always replaced.  And I wonder sometimes, how much I'm really sacrificing.....how much of this we are ultimately deciding is more important than helping another.....

     The beginning of a second adoption process brought about the end of a relationship.  We had been meeting regularly with a financial adviser for a couple of years...setting up college funds, adjusting our budget to save for Levi's adoption, making little changes here and there, asking advice, taking advice in setting up a will etc.  It was really helpful in many ways, but it was time to part ways.  While our adviser really was wonderful, and he always reminded us that he had to speak with his head, not his heart, we began to see more and more through this relationship that God's ways just are NOT our ways.  We could see on paper that what he said made sense, but that just wasn't what we felt God was asking of us.  We could see what the world says we need.....what the world claims is of most importance, is smartest, is most advisable.....and we know that we need to be wise with the finances God has entrusted to us, but it has become increasingly evident that sometimes we are going to have to do the seemingly radical, less advisable things.  Even the things that people may say are crazy.....people close to us......

      Do you know that one of Levi's words....of about a dozen that he has altogether....is the name of one who really just didn't get it.  Didn't understand why on earth we would adopt....from Russia of all places.  It never bothered us too much that some didn't get it.....it's to be expected really.  But it does blow us away how much Levi loves this person...and you know, the love is mutual.  When this person is around, Levi can often be found in their lap.

    After reading Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts" I decided to go on my own search through the bible for examples of giving thanks....of thanksgiving preceding a miracle.  As I read, in a more intentional way than I can ever remember before, I kept notes.  On one side of the page were cases of this thanks, but I soon started another side.....of things that really stuck out to me.  Although I'd read them before, I hadn't really paid much attention to them.  And this one replays in my mind often.....it's in the gospels when Jesus sends out his disciples.  In Mark 6 it says this:

  These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.    


 These men were not only going to out to preach the gospel "as lambs among wolves," but they were told to take nothing with them.  Nothing?  No food.  No money.  No extra clothes.  Not to mention, no hotel room booked in advance.  Crazy.  Radical.  I'm sure not advised by most.  But, worth it?  These people may have had possessions, but without Jesus does it really matter?  I'm sure the disciples didn't feel qualified....I'm sure they didn't feel they had the resources to support themselves while living this lifestyle....I'm sure people close to them thought they were crazy.....but God called them.  He equipped them.  He was faithful, and look at the incredible ways He used them.

     Life without hearing about Jesus....life with just a binky to your name......life without real hope or a future.  Isn't that enough to move us to action?  God's already shown that He can figure out the details....He can equip us for what He's called us to do.  Sometimes it may call for the end of relationships....the end of the relentless pull for more earthly possessions.....the end of people thinking you're sane, or smart.  But what He makes of it is beyond beautiful......blessings beyond measure.




3 comments:

  1. You are also blessed with the gift of writing. Not just that, the gift of making many see your love for God and the many blessings he has given not only to you, but all of us. Thank you for sharing your love of Him, and His love for us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are also blessed with the gift of writing. Not just that, the gift of making many see your love for God and the many blessings he has given not only to you, but all of us. Thank you for sharing your love of Him, and His love for us!

    ReplyDelete