Posted by: karanoel | September 5, 2019

No longer orphans

When I lived on a sweet, tree-lined street in Northern Colorado, I had a neighbor named Bill. He was a giant of a man with a heart to match, and always had at least one scruffy looking guy staying with him who’d been down on his luck and needed a hand. Bill’s kindness extended to our small household of a single mom and her little boy who both appreciated the occasional meal or gift this neighbor would bring but especially the sense of security we had knowing he was watching out for us.

One day Bill came over to tell me of an abused dog he’d heard about who needed a home, wondering if maybe I could take her in. My landlord said no, which was a disappointment since I also have a soft spot for the damaged and dispirited. But dear Bill, unable to tolerate the suffering of another living creature, took her in. 

Cole and I went over to meet Tara, a scraggly herding kind of dog, the day Bill brought her home. She was understandably timid. When I lifted my hand to pet her, she shrank back in fear as though I was going to strike her. It broke my heart. But I couldn’t wait to see how she would quickly blossom in her new environment of kindness and provision. Time passed without any discernible change. It shocked me. Didn’t she know she was now safe and loved? We then moved back to California so I don’t know the end of her story but I’ve always hoped she was finally able to understand her new reality and enter in.

This experience really stuck with me because I can see how true it is of us as people too. I don’t think any of us who have been rescued by God arrived at His house without having been damaged by the world in ways that that made us feel unsafe and unloved. Ideally, we would recognize our new reality and enter in, jumping into our Daddy’s lap and letting Him pour out His love on us – and then pouring ours back on Him. But it often isn’t as easy as that because our histories tend to project themselves onto our current experiences. We shrink back in fear when God extends a hand, assuming He is delivering punishment rather than love. We misinterpret His absence as abandonment and don’t trust the food He’s put before us to nourish us back to health, instead choosing to scrounge for ourselves or go without.

It’s how we, like Tara, can continue to live as though we are abused orphans despite the fact of our new lives in our adoptive home where we are treated with gentle kindness, given the love and security we have always craved, and where our every need – present and future – has been met. God wants to demonstrate this to us more than anything… to draw us into a relationship so secure that we never fear His hand or His motives again; that His strong arms are the first place we go when we’re scared; that we know our hunger and thirst will always be filled with good things; that we have Someone to pour out our affections to and share our joy with when our hearts are full; that our lives becomes one great, big beautiful response to the new reality of being wholly loved. We can’t strive our way there or become deserving enough. All we can do is humble ourselves and say, “Yes, Your love is true… truer than anything I’ve yet known. Help me see it. Help me receive it. Help me enter in.”

Border Collie2.jpeg


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: