Have you ever just sat in quiet thinking about who Jesus is? I sometimes try to imagine what Jesus looked like. What did his face look like when he was feeling his deepest emotions? What did his eyes look like when he was flipping the money tables in the temple, or weeping in the garden? I’ve always imagined he looked something like me, but he probably didn’t.
In fact, if Jesus were to walk into my church today I would probably judge him.
His hair and skin would be different from mine, he would speak things that were new and uncomfortable to me, he would be homeless, poor, and unmarried. On the surface level he would be somewhat similar to our foster children’s parents and families.
The parents and families I am called to love.
I’m pretty sure that if I were alive during the time Jesus walked the earth I wouldn’t have followed him. I would have judged him the way I have our foster children’s relatives and non-relatives. That’s one of the most surprising and complicated aspects of being foster parents.
I expected to love and care for the littles in our care, and I hoped to build a relationship with and share the Gospel with their bio-parents. I never expected to have to love their non-relatives’ sister and brother in law. I never expected we would be told how to raise these children by estranged and distantly related family members and have to abide by their wishes. I never would have expected that the bio parents I wanted to love would threaten my life.
The most difficult and surprising part of foster care for me was how many people I was required by the state to have a relationship with. A few days ago I threw my hands in the air and in frustration asked my husband “Why do we have to cater to the wishes of all these people who treat us and our son like trash?!”
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:27-31
Do you ever regret asking a question as soon as it is out of your mouth? Because as soon as you ask the Lord whispers the answer right in your ear and you can’t get it out of your head? I know in my head that I am to pray for and love those incredibly difficult people but I’m just going to be real with you and say I’m not there yet.
But this video I found today helped. It helped a lot. Like in a big ugly crying-woke the baby from her nap-Jesus convicting my heart kind of way.
So good, right? Head on over to my friend Jason Johnson’s Blog for more practical, real, biblical foster care perspective.
Fellow lovers of Jesus, foster Mamas, how do you love the difficult? How do you show kindness to those who put your precious little ones in harms way?
Could you leave a comment and encourage our tribe to Christ-like love?