Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I was five when a baby boy was delivered to our door and I became big sister again.  I remember that day--so much excitement for a little girl.  I'd enjoyed our visits with the social worker and tried hard to appear the kind of girl that would make a good big sister.  Apparently, I had succeeded and now this squalling bundle was ours.  To keep!  He was ours and we were his.

Squall, he did!  A lot. There were some nasty marks on his little body too, not placed by love.  Everything about him called my fledgling feminine heart to nurture.  I loved him fiercely.  Surely enough loving nurture would heal it all.  That's what they told families in the early '70s.  Treat him like you treat your own and all will be well.

Of course, it became obvious before too long that this wasn't quite true--what could you do but keep on trying?   It was almost twenty years before adoption records were opened, testing done, and we learned new words like "fetal alcohol syndrome".  Too late for much intervention; small comfort that there was an explanation.

Now this boy was a man though his body contained a mind that had not properly developed to adulthood.  He carried our family name--a rare and unusual name in Canada--out into the world...and into the news.  The day I received the news was the only time in my life that I have literally wailed in anguish of heart.  I could not hold it in though others tried desperately to shush me.  All the years of trying.  All the grief over a child who didn't choose, but had a teen barely old enough to manage her own life devastate his with drug use. The pain had multiplied, reaching out to ravage others.

I was also ashamed.  That name in the news?  It was my name.  I was ashamed and at the same time ashamed of being ashamed.  My brave parents had bestowed their good name on a child in an act of love and it had been tarnished.  Rather publicly.  

I never think of this without thinking of the Good Name I've been given.  The Name that is above all names, granted to me with reckless abandon, without hesitation, with a furious love.  He adopted me, He chose me, and made me His own.  I am a child of God and I wear the name Christian.

This too has been awkward, as it associates me with those who claim the same name, but have used it to wreak war, havoc, and judgement.  I've barely done the name justice...  If He was unafraid to share His good name with the likes of me, what shall I do with it?  

Boldly declare that He is a God of fantastic love that embraces the weak and imperfect...  

Humbly extend the grace of His love that can never be earned, but is generously given...

Pray for those wounded by lies about His beautiful character...  

Seek opportunities to repair the breach. .. 

Be consumed by that Love.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. 
Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. 
Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1

I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18

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