When we first considered the idea of becoming foster parents we had a lot to think through. We had to work through what it might look like and then blow all of those happy little we’re the hero scenarios out of the water and focus on what it might really look like.
When we decided to open our home up to people who were different then us, people who couldn’t always make it out of the house because brushing their hair felt too daunting of a task, people who may have connections we’d rather keep away from our kids, people who operate differently than our house on the hill suburban ways, we had to work through the same thing.
It came again when we opened our marriage up to other married couples who weren’t having the easiest of times. When we decided that we would give up hours in our day and share intimate parts of our journey to pour into other lives who needed filling up just then.
The thing it always came down to, and the question we got most often from others, was about how it might change our lives. And not for the better!! We got things like, how do you know they won’t steal from you? (we don’t) What if they let some of their friends you’d rather they didn’t into your house? (they might) What about your kids? (what about them?) What if it messes up the dynamic you have in your house? (It will) What if it brings really hard things? (It most definitely will) How will you make time for this? (No idea) Won’t your family life suffer? (Depends what you call suffering!)
The questions really could be summed up into one thing.
What if it rocks your perfect little world?
Yeah. That. What if it does?
We didn’t take any of these questions lightly. Ever. We talked through them and poured over them and came up with scenarios and reactions and how we would handle a billion different things that we may never have to handle, but – what if we did?
What we found is, in the same way that all of the questions could be boiled down into one, so could the answer.
None of it is ours, anyways!! And so, why would we need to hold on tightly with fists white with the clenching to things that were not ours? It seemed sort of silly to be all mine, mine, mine when we know it’s not.
Our house and the things in it? Gifts from God.
The material goods we have of most value? A computer, I suppose and if that’s taken from us, what of it?
The food that we have in our cupboards? Ample to share.
The space we’ve been given to dwell in? Though small by North American standards, huge in comparison to the world and so definitely enough to make room for more.
The time we’ve been given? It’s all borrowed from the Almighty. His to govern and all that. We thank God each morning, as we pray on the drive to school, that He’s woken us with air in our lungs and hearts that are beating and we recognize that at any given moment this could change as He wills and so, the time we think is all ours? It’s not. So, what we’ve been given today? Definitely enough to pass around.
A huge question was always, what about safety? Let’s just consider that we drive on highways that could end in a fatal crash on any given day. It’s when we think about that we realize who’s in charge of our safety. If we remember that our home is barred up with simply a lock and anyone who really wants to get in at any time could probably find a way, we see that our safety is only a mirage in our minds. Do we do things to feel safe? Yes. Do we take precautions that are wise? Yes. Do we trust that God is in control of all things including our very life and well being? Absolutely. If we let safety stop us we should probably never leave our house, walk down a sidewalk or cook on a gas stove. We wouldn’t fly in airplanes, hike beautiful mountains that cougars reside in, or eat half of the prepackaged items on the grocery store shelves. Our safety, every single day, is a gift from our Father who has decided we should make it through today.
What we’ve realized in having all of the conversations is that if we are going to do anything that God calls us to it will, in fact, rock our world.
And you know what? I think our worlds need a bit of rocking.
So, whether you get out there and feed the poor or visit those in prison or adopt from across the world or move to a foreign land to proclaim the gospel, it’s going to rock your world. If you decide to volunteer at a pregnancy centre or soup kitchen or shelter or amongst the inner city schools in your area, it’s going to rock your world.
I contend that nothing worth having comes without cost. I contend that following Christ is the path to life. I contend that joy is found when we give up our own ideals, our own ways and all our illusions of how this life should be and step out for a bit of world shaking. When we hold our very life with an open hand and realize it’s all his, anyways? World rocking gets a little easier.
The promise? It’s never boring, I assure you that!
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