My mom went to Zimbabwe a few years ago with a medical team. She came back with a boatload of heart breaking stories, but there is one that just breaks me over and over. A mother was at the clinic with her son who was dying. The doctors told her that he needed protein to live. He was malnourished to the point of death. Both she and her baby were surviving on a corn gruel that had little intrinsic value other than filling the emptiness of their stomachs for a time. One egg a week could save him. The mother wept, there was no way she could afford an egg. Her son would die because the minimal protein from one egg was more than his mother could provide.
A friend who adopted two sweet babies from Ethiopia shared a heart wrenching story from their process. In Ethiopian adoptions you have to make two trips to the country. They were on their second trip for their daughter, the one where they get to take her home, and their first trip for their son, the one where they get to meet him and spend some time with him. They spent a lot of time with both babies, just hanging out loving on their two children, but then their son had to be taken back to the orphanage. That sweet boy had a taste of what family was, and then was being thrust back into "the system" until such time as the approval came for him to be with his family. He started to scream as they dropped him off. It was desperate, a sound his father has only heard a few times since, but the message was clear. "Don't leave me, I need you!"
Finally, is the story that God is just splitting me wide open with. There are girls all over the world who dread the day they turn 16. That day is met not with the cutesy pageantry some American girls get, but with mourning. This is the day that they are officially unadoptable. They will spend the rest of their short lives as household servants at best, and sex slaves at worst. These beautiful girls, with so much potential for greatness in the kingdom of God, will be used, abused, traded like property, neglected, and alone. And those are just the girls who escaped slavery by a true miracle until they reach 16. That doesn't account for the girls who were kidnapped or abandoned at 5 or younger to satisfy the sick desires of men corrupted by their fleshly desires.
After hearing those kinds of things, it is hard for me to feel legitimate in asking the question - Is there a such thing as too radical? The Father saw that it was good to sacrifice His Son to redeem a people unto Himself, and I worry that people won't like me if I post too many church centered facebook status updates?! I hesitate to feel like we should be adopting because it might be hard socially, and yet for the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame. I hesitate to tell my family of the discussions my husband and I have been having lately about adoption, because I worry that they'll think we're just not trusting God enough to get pregnant.
I hear ladies in my Bible study complain that Americans don't like Christians, and I say something so awkward as "They crucified Jesus, and we're to be reflecting Him, so why would we think that the gospel would make us a whole lot of friends?" But then I sit the rest of the time fuming in embarasment at saying such a controversial thing. Why can't I just keep my mouth shut?! And then God brings to mind Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.But I am ashamed. I don't like being set apart, it's lonely. I don't like proclaiming the gospel, it makes me sound like a crazy person. I don't like being the weirdo who weeps over little girls in other countries. Who am I kidding, I don't like being the weirdo who weeps over anything. I like my sick twisted heart just the way it is, thank you very much, and I don't like God sanctifying it. And most of all, I don't like not being the center of it.
It is all about God. I asked a few weeks back what my life would be like if I truly let God break my heart for the things that break His. His heart is for the redemption of people all over the world. His heart breaks for the fatherless, both physically and spiritually. His heart breaks for the neglected, abused, lost, and dying. His heart breaks for the people tormented by their sin and the sin of those around them. His heart breaks for his creation that is made in his image to reflect Him rightly. His heart breaks for the babies starving to death in the arms of mothers who are unable to save them. His heart breaks for the orphans who cry out for a family. His heart breaks for the girls who have given up hope of being someone's daughter.
His heart breaks for all those who die with no hope.
How can I worry about being too radical in my faith? The amount that I become broken into the image of Christ should be in direct proportion to the amount that I look different from the rest of the world.