This morning I was reading Pastor Robin’s Blog (this is one blog I keep up with). This is my response. It was going on a little long to be just a “comment”.
When we got our twins they weren’t sure if one of them was “ok” (there are some delays but nothing serious), there was the possibility of cerebral palsy. Which it turns out cannot be diagnosed genetically but rather developmentally. I vividly remember holding that little one in my arms and praying, “God, I don’t care if something is wrong. You know. We love him and we want him and with your help we will figure it out.” There is a point I think that most people don’t “get” and that is love doesn’t see a flaw but marred perfection. We loved that child no matter what. And what seems overwhelming (and at times is) becomes your “norm”.
I have three friends who have children that are profoundly disabled. (One of my friend’s terms for her daughter). One of my fears (as many of you have also feared but never been willing to voice) has been having a child that requires special needs for a lifetime. We have dealt with the system on a small scale with in-home services and special education but in no way to the extent that these families require. I never understood how they did it until the twins came along and I realized when it comes to children and love, you do what you have to do and you figure it out, even when it is uncomfortable, difficult or somewhat hopeless. I cannot begin to understand fully what these families have been through or “how they do it” but it has become what they are used to. I know that I have seen glimpses of lives and I have thought, “I don’t think I could do what they do”. But when the rubber hit the road, and we were faced with possible disability, love overcame fear.
I did learn some things along the way. That moment holding that 5 week old and realizing that I would be willing to love him despite his imperfections made me think of how so many Christians walk through life “spiritually disabled”. Something along the way stunted their growth or perhaps the womb they were born through had some dificiency, whatever the case, they are not growing in Christ. They are stuck in the same issues as when they fist came to Christ. It is so sad. Yet, Jesus loves them; He sees them as (and I must include myself in this group in some areas) as marred perfection. We are perfect because He made us but we are so marred. Still, He loves us. He loves us because we are His.
Along these same lines, fostering has hit us hard. The Hubs and I were talking about it this week. Every child takes away a little part of our hearts with them. Our hearts are out there somewhere…. I always thought about the parable of the shepherd that had 100 sheep and one was lost and he left 99 sheep and went looking for the one lost sheep (See Matthew 18) and thought why would he risk leaving all his sheep to go look for that one that wouldn’t follow; who was unwilling to follow? I understand now. The 99 were safe. He knew where they were but that one was out there in the cold, dark world alone. A part of your heart is out there separated from your body, at risk, with an unknown future….it is terrifying. Even when we don’t follow, His love for us is so great that He will search us out and bring us back.
I’m not a big “fan” of tattoos. On a personal level, I probably will never have one. Yes, in the past I have even been “disapproving” of them. A few days ago, I was praying for a friend and I could just see her name written upon the palm of His hand. (See Isaiah 49:15-16). I thought about it and it dawned upon me, Jesus has tattooed our name upon the palm of His hand; it’s permanent. Every time He opens His hand He sees our names even if we have wondered away from Him. He doesn’t forget. The thing is He doesn’t forget His covenant with us even when we forget our covenant with Him. He is perfect like that and He is good like that.
I know my friends who have disabled children do not think of them as “flawed”. When they see their child they just love them. Thank God that He does not see us as “flawed” or “marred”; He only sees “marred perfection”.