This is my first official post about this whole adoption process. I must confess that, while I'm emotionally and spiritually invested 100%, Abby is bearing the heaviest brunt of the mental and physical investment. My responsibilities at church and at seminary keep me from taking part in my fair share of the "paper mountain", as I've come to call it. The paperwork required for an adoption is unbelievable! But Abby is simply amazing. This process would be impossible without her. She's going to be a wonderful mother! (Ya know, I think maybe I should tell her that!) However, like I said, I am invested emotionally and spiritually, and to those ends I have given certain aspects of this process a fair bit of mind-space, and, thankfully, thinking about the process has yet to result in any paper-cuts.
It's amazing to me how many verses in the Bible reference orphans. One particular verse jumped out at me several weeks ago, and I've been pondering the words of Christ's since then. John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." This verse comes on the heels of Jesus telling his disciples that he was going to leave them and return to the Father. Can you imagine what must have been running through the disciples' minds? Confusion. Frustration. Panic maybe? He goes on to say, though, that we are NOT as orphans, because he is sending his Spirit to us. However, we ARE as orphans in the sense that we are spatially separated from Jesus. We are waiting for his glorious return. There are two events promised by Jesus in 14:18: first, that he would send his Spirit. Second, that he would come back for us. (WARNING! THEOLOGICAL CONTENT: It should be noted that I'm interpreting these verses as describing two separate events, i.e. the Spirit being sent and Jesus coming to us, because I believe that the Spirit and Jesus are two distinct persons of the Godhead.) So, based on the scenario in John 14 and more specifically the words of Christ in verse 18, I want to make an observation about the current state of our absent King.
I've never seen my baby. I can't hear his laugh in my head. I can't picture her smile or her hands. However, while that's true, I cannot begin to depict for you in words the longing of my heart for my little orphan(s). Oh how I long to go to my baby and hold her in my arms and watch Abby's face light up as her son falls asleep in her lap for the first time! The thought that my child might be alive today in an orphanage crib some thousands of miles away is enough to deeply move me. Is he hungry? Is she crying? The point is... I don't know any of these things, and yet I love him/her anyway, more than words. Consider the words of Christ now, "I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." As a father waiting to go to his child, I can almost hear the resolve in his voice. I think I'm beginning to experience a tiny fraction of what Jesus must have felt as he uttered those words and what he must be feeling now as he waits to come to us. I've never seen my child; Jesus had spent three years with the disciples he was having to leave. I've never heard my child's voice; Jesus hears the prayers of his orphans around the globe. Jesus longs to come for us, Church. He knows us well. He sees us laugh. He watches us stumble and fall. He prays for us and intercedes for us before our Father in heaven. Believe me, as one who longs for his orphan(s), he is longing to come to us! And he surely will.
In John 14, Jesus makes it clear that there's a common result that stems from both faith and love: action. 14:12 "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do..." 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey..." Faith can move mountains. I think, perhaps, love can too. One thing I do know, faith and love are moving "paper mountains" in our home.
May God be praised, and may our lives be spent in service to our King. Come to us, Jesus!
One of Your Orphans,