Sometimes, while reading my Bible, I find a passage reworking itself in my head. No sacrilege, just applying it to my current situation.
I know what it is to respect the Lord, and when I try to see through His eyes, I know He wants me to try to persuade others to follow His example, advocating for children and for reconciliation.
God knows my intent is pure and I hope you can see this, too. When I write about the our lives, I don’t write to brag or in hope that you will hold us up as an example of perfection. I write to give you hope and the knowledge that you are not alone. To be honest, some people think we are out of our minds. If we’re insane, we’re crazy with intention. Christ loved everyone, and His love compels me to love others, specifically vulnerable children with no protector.
He died for everyone and rose again, to show that He is making a second chance available to every individual. If He wants to give a second chance to all, how can I do otherwise? Because of what He did for me, how can I do anything but live for him and do my best to advocate for those who need help?
I used to see through my own eyes, but now I try to look through the eyes of Jesus. Anyone who sees through His eyes sees in a new way. God reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the example of the ministry of reconciliation. God reconciled the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
And He has now given us the responsibility to spread the word; it is our duty to promote reconciliation. We choose to be ambassadors of this great love; God is making this appeal through us. I implore you on behalf of Jesus: be reconciled to God and bring reconciliation to others, so their lives and families will be preserved.
2 Corinthians 5:11-21, UCV (Unauthorized Casey Version)
Reconciliation is a lifelong ministry of bringing others to know a great love. What better example of God’s love and reconciliation than the love of a parent who will do whatever it takes for a child?
The initial intent of the foster care system should never be to remove children from their original parents.
Sometimes, as in our situation, the abuse is so great there is no other choice, but in many cases, the biological family simply is missing something necessary to survival. Helping a family achieve reconciliation and forgiveness is an amazing opportunity.
Before I truly understood foster care, I was one of the would-be adopters who refused to consider foster care because “it would kill me if the child were removed” from my home after I’d formed an attachment. I’ve heard this sentiment from a number of other people.
We need to reconsider our understanding of foster care. It is not a means to adopt (although this may happen). It is a ministry of reconciliation.
God gave us the original blueprint, doing everything possible to create a connection. We need to approach foster care in a similar manner, being willing to do everything we can to enable families to remain together.
For years, I had a favorite Mother’s Day memory. (Which is saying a lot, because after several failed attempts with adoption agencies, Mother’s Day was just one more reminder of what I couldn’t have.)
We were at church. I didn’t really want to be around all those cheerful moms with hips full of toddlers. But we had responsibilities.
Our church actually did a great job of recognizing all women for the role they have in the lives of children. Still, I was at a breaking point. I stood in the auditorium aisle, my path to the bathroom blocked by a large family. All I wanted was to escape and let the tears fall.
Before I could push through the group, I heard my name. Turning, I saw my friend’s young son tearing toward me, pudgy little legs pumping. He leapt into my arms as I knelt to catch him. Throwing himself against me, he buried his face in my hair and said, “Happy Mother’s Day!”
Struggling with my emotions, I hung on tight as people washed past us. He held me just as tight.
I don’t know how he knew, but that little boy saved my Mother’s Day.
I *had* a favorite memory.
This year trumps that day, by far.
For the first time, the kids spontaneously created artwork. I came downstairs to find our son clearing off the kitchen table. (Who is this child?) After church, we went to my favorite restaurant, then to a national park. The kids SMILED for pictures. Both of them. At the same time.
Our daughter walked beside me on the trail, her arm around my waist, mine draped across her shoulders.
Our son said, “you’re the best mom in the world.” This is a kid who’s lived with seven families…I feel like he’s sort of an expert on moms. Pretty much one of the most amazing moments of my life.
We have some pretty tough days with these kids, dealing with PTSD, RAD, ADHD and general behavior craziness. But today was absolute beauty. I’m so thankful for this new favorite memory. And so thankful to Hubby for orchestrating everything.
Today, truly, is a happy Mother’s Day.
Hooooo-kay. I stayed out of this as long as my sense of right and fair and safe would allow.
Just to be clear, let me start here:
I am a no-holds-barred, Jesus-following, Bible-quoting, EVERYBODY-loving kind of person.
When one of our friends complained about hypocrisy among Christians who claim to love but won’t get their hands dirty, Hubby paid me the highest compliment I’ve ever received.
That’s true about some people, but Casey doesn’t care if someone is a CEO, a gang member, the President, a prostitute or a homeless guy who stinks to high heaven. She’ll sit right next to any of them. And she’ll talk to them to death and probably end up hugging them.
I think everyone should be treated with fairness, respect and love. EVERYONE.
What people choose to do in their own time—and what people choose to believe is right or wrong—is not my responsibility or my problem.
Telling others what they’re doing wrong is not my job.
Some of my friends would argue that if we don’t help people see that they’re not perfect, they’ll never see a need for Jesus, since he died to take the punishment for sin.
Here’s how I see it: if we don’t LOVE them, they might never see a need for Jesus. Why would anyone want to join a team that picks on them?
Let’s apply “tell them they’re bad” logic to regular life:
“Well, your resume isn’t that great, and you don’t really have the experience we want, and you didn’t dress appropriately for the interview and honestly, we don’t really like you. But we’ve got an opening we have to fill. Want the job?
“To be honest, your presentation could use some work. However, we feel you have incredible potential and we’d love to train you. Want the job?”
“Hey, would you like to marry me? I mean, you’re not really good enough for my family, and in fact, they don’t like a lot of the things you do, but if I vouch for you, they’ll accept you.”
“I love you more than life itself. I would die for you. Will you marry me?”
“You come with a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of baggage. You make it insanely hard for anyone to get close to you. In fact, you’re actively pushing us all away with your horrendous behavior. But, I’m going to sacrifice all the fun in my life to find a way to help you, because that’s the right thing to do.”
“I know you’ve had a tough life, but my love for you is bigger and stronger than any hurt you’ve experienced, and we’re going to survive this together. I love you forever and always, no matter what. Would you like to be a part of my family?”
Love, not hate, is the answer.
Jesus never taught his followers to be judgmental.
In a recent conversation (okay, argument) with a friend, I stood my ground as he clung to the idea that we should tell people they’re sinners. We discussed the story of the woman caught in adultery (that story is a whole other post in itself) and brought to Jesus by the religious leaders.
My point: he didn’t let any of them judge her, and in fact he embarrassed them so much that they all left.
His point: Jesus told her he didn’t condemn her, but to stop sinning.
My point: Jesus is perfect. If he wants to talk with someone about sin, he can. That’s HIS job, not mine (because I’m certainly not perfect).
Side note: Jesus loves you and has a beautiful plan for your life. If you’d like to discuss that, I’m happy to help.
Jesus never taught his followers to discriminate.
In fact, he was always in hot water with the big-time religious leaders of that time because he hung around with SIN–NERS. Prostitutes, thieves (the tax collectors were notorious), drunks, liars, potty-mouths* and guys with anger issues.
He helped them change their lives by teaching and loving them.
If you can find an example of a time Jesus was mean to a person because they weren’t following him, let me know.
If you can find a time when Jesus fought back against something he didn’t approve by using deception, I’d like to hear about it.
Up Next: The Point.
*You know the story of when Peter denied he knew Jesus during his trial? The third time someone bugged him about it, he got so mad he cursed. Ever thought about the fact that someone could spend three years with Jesus and still be a potty-mouth? That sort of blows my mind. And makes me feel like less of a failure when I screw up.
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