Friday, September 9, 2011

Sterling Mei: (2) More Patient Than Time

So here we are. Sixty-one months ago we submitted our full dossier to the Republic of China and requested the honor of adopting a baby girl. I am frightened by how fragile I am when I reflect on everything that has happened since that date. Had we foreseen everything that was on that road less travelled, I am not sure that we would have had the courage to take that first step.

And yet... I am eternally grateful that we did. Every step... every single step... this includes the painful ones, the steps that shook us to the point of recognizing our vapor state of importance and our reliance on the grace... every single step has been worth the effort.

These steps have carried us to this moment.

You know, we like to think about the poem, "Footsteps in the Sand" but I can tell you... sometimes when I look behind me I don't even see a single set of footprints. There are times when I crawled. There were times when I was dragged. There were times when the foot of God was absent from the sand because it was busy kicking my butt.

And I am broken and tearful and thankful beyond my ability to express.

Have you ever experienced the undeserved grace of an almighty God? Have you ever been loved and held when you were undeserving? Do you know the power that it must take to extend love when it is undeserved? I can tell you that it is the most powerful force on the planet.

I have been stopped dead in my tracks by the powerful love of the people of God. I was confronted by true belief... and it changed the course of my life.

God has been speaking to me for years... and my ears were not open.

I have seen unexplainable healings in the face of apparent despair. I have seen undeniable faith that stares oncoming destruction dead in the eye without fear. And I have felt the power of forgiveness and grace undeserved. I have felt the scorch on my heart when I realized that my foolishness had met true belief. That moment I realized that there are people in the world who are willing to put belief and faith above selfishness and security.

I am that witness that this Jesus message is real. My life has been released from destruction and given fire and light to walk into a new day. If you are reading this and you are searching for something... a piece of you that is longing... I will fall down beside you and cry-- This Is It.

We place SO MUCH importance on so many things in life that are just SHIT (don't get hung up on the word... seriously, pull up your pants and let's move on).

I can tell you that my perspective has changed. I am convinced that the God that holds the universe in his hand and shelters me under his wing cared enough to take on human form and submit himself to being spit on, beat, and executed so that I could find a way to take on my eternity with him.

I know no greater love story.

All other stories carry components of this ultimate epoch. A God, giving up his power... taking on our condition... accepting our punishment, defeating our tormentor... and standing at the end of the battle, bleeding and bruised and scarred... and triumphant. We, that caused his torment... are now his prize.

My entire life is a story of adoption.

I was bought. I was unworthy. There was NOTHING that I had ever done that merited this moment. And yet... the one that created everything-- he made a way and reached out his arms.  He called me his child. I that was lost... now had a home. I had a purpose. I had a promise. I had a future. How could I NOT shout from the mountains that I had found the way?

How could I NOT extend this miracle to others? Come... taste and see what you long to believe! The peace and foregiveness, the joy to be FREE! Come taste and see what you long to believe! The saviour invites you so come taste and see! (Thank you Randy Vadar & Jay Rouse!)

I know that I was created with the fingerprint of God on my soul to live this message. My family has been made complete by the homecoming of my daughter that was born in Orekhovo Zuevo, Russia. When I look into her eyes I see the gaze of God. I see the promises that he made to me. I see true belief.

I saw this gaze reflected in the children in the dust of Guatemala. I see the promise of God staring me in the face and I ask myself.... HOW CAN I NOT BE MOVED? How can I not fall down in the dirt and embrace those who so resemble the condition of my own soul?

I want to shake the world and scream from the top of my lungs.... Can't you see why you are here???

I sit here tonight with my heart BURSTING from my chest. I am overwhelmed. I am thankful to feel this way... and still I know that I have no concept of the road before me.  And like the times before... I am willing to take that step! How could I not? This is everything. This is all I know. This is who I want to be. Everything else pales in comparison.

When we encounter True Belief it changes everything.

And yet I am still so fragile. I think of Rich Mullins again:

At times my life just don't make sense at all...
When the mountains look so big, and my faith just seems so small.
So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shakin like a leaf.
You have been my King of Glory,
Wont you be my Prince of Peace?
Surrender don't come natural to me.
I'd rather fight you for something' I don't really want,
than take what you give that I need.
And I beat my head against so many walls
and now I'm falling down--
fallin' on my knees...

This song is on repeat in my head. Everyday. Every moment. There is so much that I beat my head against... and STOP! Can you hear it?

Quietly... you know it to be there. What we need is freely given.

And so... I find myself here:

Number One on the referral list to go to the Communist country that is China. To pick up a small child in my arms that was abandoned. Left to die. And she is not the one that needs saving.

It is this child that saves MY SOUL. She gives ME the chance to accept the truth that has been spread out before me. She gives Kellie and I the opportunity:

And to her... I am eternally grateful.

I end this night on my knees with tears.

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