Today was everything we hoped for and more than we could imagine. We spent the day at a small orphanage named, "God Bless The Children" that held 13 small souls ranging from age 3 months to 6 years.
I listened to the stories of each child and found myself flooded with emotion and the brush of truth on my soul as I held my daughter... who had spent the first year of her life in an orphanage and shared a remarkably similar story.
Their stories are so moving, they are such survivors... and stories such as theirs are common all around the world.
My daughter Sterling, abandoned in a park in southern China, placed in an incubator to compensate for her underdeveloped lungs... was now swinging in the sun, in a park in Guatemala, beside another infant girl with pigtails in her hair who had been also been abandoned without hope.
I am struck even now that this is the simple mission of the Kingdom of God. Look at this beautiful picture in the park of two lives who were grown, nourished, and made possible by the redemptive power of God. This is what loving your neighbor as yourself can become. Beautiful things... out of the darkest of situations.
And the story again repeated itself as I watched my nearly 10 year old daughter laughing and holding these who were once where she had been.
There is nothing in my life that I draw more energy and joy from than this... seeing these who once were abandoned reaching out and holding those who are going through it now. We understand that we all are like them. All of us are in need of adoption. The Kingdom of Heaven is built on this act.
These are the handprints of the children at the orphanage... pressed in paint and held to the walls in colorful pallets of rainbows, birds, and butterflies. It seems to me to be a perfect metaphor of absolute and perfect beauty coming out of desolation. This is the redemptive power that is breathed through my being. This is the living essence of God.
I am so thankful that my children can grow up in this incredible truth. It is worth everything when I see their eyes catch a reflection of the presence of God in our everyday.
...But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)