Love Like That.
How do I even begin to convey the way I feel with words?
My eyes are leaking.
To be honest I don’t really know why we started hosting orphans. It just seemed like a natural thing to do. I saw the website with the hosting info. The quiet voice inside of me said go forward. I went. It was hard, but once you take the plunge there is no going back. There is no un-knowing what your heart has learned.
It’s not as if it’s some sort of superhuman accolade, loving hurt children. It just is. It’s love. Freely given, without any expectations.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Eph. 5:1-2)
No matter what religion you are, or aren’t, love is the same for everyone. At least it seems that it should be.
The funny thing is this love, it seems to spread like ripples on the surface of a pond. I’ve said this before, but it seems to be a continual lesson for me.
You go into this whole orphan hosting thing prepared to do the hard work of loving a child from a hard place. Then in the end it’s you who ends up blessed. How does this happen?
Tonight we went to the Ukrainian Church again. We seem to keep going there. We’re the only Americans out of maybe 300-400 people. No one is speaking English, but they have a translator person who talks into a headset for Americans to wear. Their services are very long. Two hours. They have several sermons. It’s very intense CHURCH. But it’s also very real, there is nothing in it designed to entertain. I like that. You are there for growing spiritually, and for worship, not for a rock concert or a stand up comedy act, or to have fun.
The church is full of multigenerational families. Plenty of small children. Their culture adores small children and encourages large families, and they aren’t bothered by crying babies or whispering kids squirming around. I love that.
So at the end of the service our friend, the patriarch from the party last night, stood up and asked for everyone to pray for our family and our orphans. He was so heartfelt, he even started crying.
They prayed over us intensely. When they pray, the whole church prays out loud at once in Ukrainian, and sometimes in tongues because it’s a Pentecostal church. It’s a lot of meaningful noise. They pray for a long time, everyone in the room. Do you know what it’s like to have hundreds of people praying goodness over you?
After their prayers came to an end the pastor walked up and gave us this huge wad of cash. $1,480…!
They collected it. For us. For us to use towards anything Misha and Mariana need while they are here. Not for medical bills, they are making those go away with their connections. But for clothes, fun stuff, food, anything else.
I am completely blown away by their generosity.
After the service everyone kept coming up to us and saying how inspired they were by this hosting program, and by us.
Surely not, I can’t believe that I may inspire someone like this. They kept telling us that God will surely bless us for what we are doing. How funny, because they have just handed us a giant blessing in the form of monetary support!
I keep thinking, is this actually happening? What am I doing with my life?
How do I even explain? Giving so much of yourself to someone else makes other things in life seem trivial in comparison to what is happening in front of you. I feel like we are sucking the marrow out of life, so to speak.
This is it. The point of living isn’t just to get through each day, or to watch a mindlessly entertaining show on TV, or to distract yourself from reality by scrolling through Facebook every time you get a spare moment. What a waste of precious time.
I thought we were doing this to help kids, but actually we’ve helped ourselves.
I’m not explaining this well enough.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. (Eph. 3:20)