Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Cry

Back when I wrote my essays for college applications, I planned to post this particular one (which I sent to the Christian colleges I applied to) up on the blog...  I waited until all the application processes were done, decisions were mailed, and then (obviously) I waited even until now, when next fall is already planned!  So here it is...on adoption.  {Feel completely free to recognize this as being inspired by what God is doing with and through the Bohlenders.  The twins had probably just come, and my heart was on fire.}


There is a crisis of epic proportions affecting the smallest among us.  In China, many babies are given up because of the government requirement for each family to only have one child.  In Southeast Asia, little girls and boys are taken out of their homes and adopted into the sexual slave trade at alarming rates.  Africa sees children orphaned every day by genocide, war, and HIV.  In Eastern Europe, special needs babies are often left neglected and unloved.  Every one of these children is just an arm’s reach away from the care and love they need.  I hope and pray that someday my arms will be doing the reaching.

The issue of adoption is a crucial intersection for the church, yet sadly one that is often a place where we stand and gape instead of intentionally choosing action.  It is where our own spiritual heritage, that of being defenseless and penniless yet being saved by Christ’s sacrifice and accepted into the Father’s family, meets a terribly real issue in the nations of our world: children, everywhere, without parents.  James gives us a window into God’s heart: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.”  God certainly does not miss every longing of each of these little hearts.  Nor is He numb to their need to have a father wrap them in a cocoon of safety or their desire to have a mother whisper: “I love you.”   

This crisis, however, is not purely international or far removed from us.  Adoption has the potential to be a critical part of many lives in our own country.  Sadly, these lives are babies that are never met, fingers and toes that are never counted, and destinies that are never seen.  Abortion has ripped forty-eight million babies out of our country since it was legalized in 1973.  Approximately twenty-four percent of all American pregnancies end in abortion.  As Christians, these facts need to arrest our hearts with the reality that the statistics are not numbers but lives.  We hold a privileged position where we can work to save these lives, both through prayer and through action.  I believe it is time for the church to see adoption and abortion as two issues that are anything but separate.  If as the people of God we want abortion to end, we have to be willing to open our hearts and our homes to those that are “unwanted”; we must be willing to do for them what He did for us. 

On a clear day last month, I was driving in Kansas, a state of wide-open space with nothing but a lot of seemingly empty land.  The part I was in, however, had new homes, built in beauty and almost painted across with “The American Dream.”  The thought struck me: what kind of dent would it make if every American Christian household adopted one child.  We have the space; we have the money.  Millions of “unwanted” children would, in one sweep, suddenly have a home and a place to be taught the love of Christ in the most tangible way.  I am reminded of a moving line to a worship song: “You rescued me, and picked me up…”  Jesus saw us as orphans and then acted to change the status quo.  I pray that the Church would see not just visions, but actions.  Let us show those called unwanted that they are indeed wanted, not just by us, but by a Creator who desires for them to know his unfailing, saving love.

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