We have this extra kid that hangs out with us regularly. We sometimes refer to him as our 4th child. Not that he’s been technically adopted, but we just love him a lot. We would technically adopt him if he needed it and we could manifest the kind of money you need to adopt a kid, but he’s got a mom and we don’t have much money.
We joke with him about how God gave him to us because Smiles and I both deserved a “troubled” child, and didn’t get one. He has a rough reputation and a disdain for authority (except for our’s, oddly). He has been kicked out of school numerous times, placed in juvenile hall once or twice, etc. But man, this kid has our hearts. We just absolutely love him. When we look at him, we don’t see his reputation, we see God’s image. We see his worth, his potential. We see an over-sized boy, who needs to know how very loved he is.
Yesterday was my favorite day ever with him. I got a phone call, right about the time that school let out, from a friend of mine, who happens to be a teacher at the middle school, who also happens to love this kid, and knows how we feel about him. She told me that he had a busted bike tire and needed picked up. So I picked him up and we ran errands together.
It wasn’t anything we did. Grocery shopping is pretty boring, really, but the look on his face over the pack of cheese crackers I bought him made it a little more spectacular.
What made it my favorite time ever was how comfortable he was. It was as though it had finally settled deep into his bones that we really, truly love him and that absolutely nothing he could do would lessen that. He finally seems to get it that our love for him has absolutely nothing to do with performance and that whenever we do “school” him for stuff, it’s only because we care enough to teach him wisdom.
So he was completely relaxed. He just bounced along next to me while I bought groceries and picked up chicken supplies. We had deep conversation, but it wasn’t awkward for him, like it has been in times past, that we actually talk about stuff that matters.
It’s like that with us and God, isn’t it? God loves us despite ourselves. His love for us is utterly independent from our performance. Nothing we could do could make Him love us any more or any less.
But when we really get that… when it becomes more than a theory, but rather a Truth that is so deeply a part of us that we couldn’t imagine it any other way and rarely even think about it anymore… then it just kinda puts us at ease and we can relax in and enjoy His Presence. When He does discipline us for stuff, we rest knowing that it’s only out of love and concern for our well-being, and that it doesn’t alter His love for us one bit, which makes the discipline sweet, because it’s a reminder of how deeply He cares for us. Even the worries and cares of the world seem to roll off our shoulders a little easier. This, my friends, is true freedom and rest for the soul! I’m so glad and grateful that He adopted me!
“He has brought me to his banquet hall,
And his banner over me is love”
Song of Solomon 2:4