What are the odds that the God of the Universe, the Creator of all things would take a moment to reach down and speak to little old me? Honestly! His switch boards must light up like the fourth of July with prayers pinging at all hours of the day and night. My husband thinks his in-box is full, but I’m pretty sure it pales in comparison. God’s literally got a million and one things (for me that’s a standard hyperbole I use with my kids) going on – how could he possibly multi-task like that?
I know, I know. My two-dimensional, spatially challenged brain just can’t comprehend it, but like Frontier Airlines’ motto, God’s economy is a “whole different animal.” It probably goes without saying, I am NOT an economist by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I ended up auditing the only economics class I took in college so I wouldn’t completely tank my GPA. I pretty much walked away from that class knowing the basic definition of macro vs. micro and not much else. I don’t think I balance my supply and demand all that often.
If God is the producer and director of the MACRO, how could he possibly have time for the MICRO? I don’t understand how it all works, but every once in a while, I get to experience a glimpse into this cosmic conundrum and it humbles me to no end.
Yesterday, I finished a tremendous book touted by Elle magazine as the 2006 winner of the “Readers’ prize in nonfiction.” There’s No Me Without You chronicles the story of Haregewoin (I don’t know how to pronounce it either) Teferra, “a middle-class Ethiopian woman who found herself at the heart of a global health crisis. After the loss of her husband and daughter, Teferra reluctantly agreed to take in two of Addis Ababa’s thousands of AIDS orphans, and soon children of all ages began to appear at the door of her tin-walled compound.” This story will move its reader to laughter and tears. Certainly a “must read” for anyone adopting from Ethiopia and I would submit for the public at large. Anyhow…. the end of the book details several heart-felt stories of young children adopted out of Teferra’s home and placed with “forever families” in the United States. The reality of what life looks like as lives from various cultures and backgrounds are woven together is profoundly felt in the joys and the challenges of everyday life. However, one family’s personal question in their adoption journey stopped me in my tracks.
We learn of a married couple’s desire to adopt out of Ethiopia. The Cheneys rejoice as a referral comes their way for a three or four-year old little boy. As the couple prepares for the arrival of this little one, they learn the boy’s biological father is still alive, living on the streets and dying of AIDS. “Suddenly the Cheneys weren’t sure that this boy would be theirs either. He wasn’t an orphan” (p. 401). For them, this news begged a profound question: Should they continue the adoption or assume the lifelong treatment for a man living with HIV/AIDS in an effort to reconcile the family? They didn’t have to struggle long, however, because they soon found out the father had indeed died.
This ethical struggle, turned poignantly personal as it turns out, the sweet kids we are pursuing for adoption aren’t technically orphans either. We have precious little information about these children, except that they are HIV negative and their Mother is HIV positive. The same question the Cheneys struggled with flashed through my mind and I immediately committed these thoughts to prayer. God, could you have led us this far only to chart a different course? My mind whirled with more questions than answers.
My excerpt from yesterday’s journal entry reads, “Lord, this is a perplexing situation, but I TRUST you are a God of details, provision and unconditional love. I pray your Spirit directs us in the way to go. Your ways are better than our ways. You know the plans you have for all of us involved in this journey towards family whatever that looks like, however it comes. I pray your sovereign hand, your eagle’s wings over us all. Grant us discernment and wisdom to follow your will.”
Fast forward to my time with Him this morning. (Hang with me here!) My parents are currently serving as coordinators for a “Kairos Prison Ministry” weekend in Sterling, Colorado. E-mails went out a couple of weeks ago requesting that volunteers sign-up to pray for the prisoners in 30 minute increments throughout the entire weekend. I “dutifully” signed up for my slot which just so “happened” to come this morning.
I snuggled into the Scriptures at my kitchen table with a steaming cup of coffee in my hot little hands. Flipping to the back of my Bible, I decided to look for verses on “prisoners” to see what God has to say about his tender mercy in this matter. As it were, the Lord led me straight to Psalm 68: 5 – 6 (NLT):
“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.”
Um, back up the truck! Could it be that God would weave all of our stories together in one single snippet of Scripture, embedded in His sacred word, holy and living, suspended in time? My jaw dropped and I fell to my knees.
Men locked in prison cells are hearing about eternal freedom in Christ. They are not forgotten. Two children, malnourished and mourning in Mekelle, Ethiopia are cared for in their home country as they prepare to become part of a family in a land far, far away. They are not forgotten. I do not know how our story will end, but I’ve read the end of the “greatest story ever told.” The Alpha and the Omega, the God who created the beginning from the end reached out to touch me today. I am not forgotten. He places the lonely in families; His family. You are not forgotten.
What are the odds God has this all under control? I’d say the odds are pretty good. You can take that to the bank.