Imagine for a moment that you’re adopting a child.  As you meet with the social worker in the last stage of the process, you’re told that this twelve-year-old has been in and out of psychotherapy since he was three.  He persists in burning things and attempting repeatedly to skin kittens alive.  He “acts out sexually,” the social worker says, although she doesn’t really fill you in on what that means.  She continues with a little family history.  This boy’s father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather all had histories of violence, ranging from spousal abuse to serial murder.  Each of them ended life the same way, death by suicide – each found hanging from a rope of blankets in his respective prison cell.

Think for a minute.  Would you want this child?  If you did adopt him, would you keep an eye on him as he played with your children?  Would you watch him nervously as he looks at the butcher knife on the kitchen table?  Would you leave the room as he watched a movie on television with your daughter, with the lights out?

Well, he’s you. And he’s me.  That’s what the gospel is telling us.  Our birth father has fangs.  And left to ourselves, we’ll show ourselves to be as serpentine as he is.

[My library of adoption related books has been growing quite a lot lately.  Just yesterday I started listening to this month’s free audiobook download from christianaudio.com – Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore.  I have only gotten through the first two chapters so far, and it has already been incredibly powerful.]

Read that excerpt once again.  Most people would feel uncomfortable just thinking about a child like the one described.  Most people would think twice before agreeing to adopt that child.  Most people would really take time to accept the risk to bring that child into a home with other vulnerable children.  Most people would be ashamed to consider themselves to have anything in common with that boy… however the reality is, that boy is each and every one of us. 

We come from a sickeningly sinful heritage.  We do not deserve love or to be accepted into a loving family.  And that is what Christ has done for each of us.  Without restraint and without hesitation. 

When we realize the great grace that has been bestowed on us by being accepted by our Heavenly Father, how could we possibly turn a blind eye and withhold that grace from all those orphaned children in need?

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