As a musician, music has an intensely visceral way of getting into my heart. It is able to get in the darkest places and pull out things I wasn’t even aware of. A song we are working on in our church choir revealed to me a surprising and shameful amount of doubt a quiet unassuming part of my nature was tightly grasping. Why could I not just go on blessedly unaware? Maybe if I stayed unaware then it would just quietly slip away.
The piece is called “An offering.” I know this text has no direct association with foster care but oh my, did it reveal some things in my heart!
My attitude toward the process was what I thought was complete readiness, and willingness. I had open hands…
“Yet if behind my open hands, my heart shrinks from the cost.
Teach me nothing offered you, is ever truly lost…”
The sudden reality of the personal loss behind foster care has become painfully clear. I was prepared to give of our money, our time, our home, and as much of my heart as I could… but am I ready to offer the little one to God to loose in a human sense?
What a woman of God Hannah must have been. To offer her first-born, her only-born; not just a temporary placement, but the removal of her chastisement to the Lord! And then to leave that place rejoicing in the time she had with him! She understood the sacrifice was one that could never be lost.
“Why should I cling to gifts you give? Why grasp in foolish pride?
What you who gave yourself for me, no bids me lay aside…”
Our little one will be an incredible gift but I struggle. There is One who without hesitation gave all of Himself for me, how could I not gladly and willingly release my grasp on a gift he gives to me- The free-gift Giver.
“To know you is my highest gain! Worth any sacrifice.
A treasure worthy to possess, at any earthly price…”
Is this personal loss, this strange new grief not even yet experienced to become a treasure to me, for it brings about the surpassing greatness of knowing the One who sacrificed all?
Is there any pursuit more worthy than this? This calling of caring is it to be any more than an attempt to have just a taste “of the fellowship that brings me near the cross?”
“A hundredfold reward awaits in one glimpse of your face,
My sacrifice forgotten in the riches of your grace.”