(With permission from my real life friend, Kim.)
Selah Hope when she was less than one month old
Yesterday we heard that the sweet baby you see in the picture above went home to live with Jesus. She was 55 days old. She is the adopted daughter of my friends, Kim and Ben. (You can read the whole story of Selah on their blog.) On the surface it is a tragic story; the loss of a child at such a young age. But it is also a story of remarkable faith and love. The story of Selah and Selah's adoption has much to teach all of us about the power of love that can be showered upon others because of the love of Jesus showered on us.
And what does she have to teach us? That all life is valuable and deserves to be cared for and loved. Even life conceived under horrible circumstances. Even life that would seem to be imperfect. Even life that begins with a prognosis of death. (And don't we all enter life with a prognosis of death... it's just not as immediate for us.) You see, if you look at Selah's life through God's eyes, she was bountifully blessed. First, Selah was given a chance at life when others may not have been allowed that privilege. When her birth mother realized she couldn't care for her, she also made an adoption plan so Selah would have a family. From her very moment of birth, Selah knew the love and affection of parents and brothers and sisters. She had a mother to advocate for her in the hospital when some of the nursing staff would rather ignore her needs due to her prognosis. There was never a moment in her life when she was not loved, cared for, prayed for, and nurtured. She went from life to death always knowing what it is to be loved. In the time she was on earth she touched the lives of many, many people, changing them for the better. And now she is with Jesus and we know she is fully healed and will never suffer ever again.
There are so many children in this broken world that cannot make those claims. In fact there are many of them who have never had even close to what Selah experienced. They live a life without love. As Christians we are called to care for the widows and orphans. In fact we are told it is true worship to do so. And this is not a one shot deal... help one child, one time and you can check it off your list. No, we are to care for them until there is no one left to care for. It is a continuing commandment that we are to take seriously. In honor of little Selah's life, I challenge you to do something to help the orphaned and vulnerable children of the world. You can click the Compassion International button on my sidebar and sponsor a child... or another child. This is what we have chosen to do. You can support any number of other child relief organizations... sponsor a child through an adoption agency, help pay for surgery for cleft-affected children, or give to relief organizations. Or you can choose to help vulnerable children locally... volunteer at a women's shelter, become a CASA volunteer, or find a single mother who could use a hand.
Or maybe, just maybe, God is calling you to adopt. Take the promptings seriously and stop thinking of all the reasons why you shouldn't or can't do it. Start to think about why you should instead. I will be the first to tell you that it is often not the easier road. That it will stretch you in ways you never dreamed imaginable and perhaps show you things about yourself you would rather now know. But as in so many things, the harder way is often, in the long run, the better way. Adopting my sons has been both the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. We may not all be called to unreservedly welcome a child into our homes who also enters hospice at the same time. But, maybe some of us are. We have been loved so lavishly by Christ that we should not be able to help ourselves in lavishing that love on others.