Monday, April 22, 2013

A Miserable Comforter brings no comfort

Last week, as the world's eyes were on Boston, another tragedy was unfolding.  Maybe unfolding  is the wrong word.  Folding  might be more accurate.  Folding  as in "we're packing up our toys and going home because we're not going to play with you anymore".  The 'Powers that Be' from both sides of the pond were having a powwow.  They had gathered to discuss the adoption ban.  Unfortunately, the pawns in this political chess match are children... children who have met parents pursuing their adoption... children who have been told by their nannies that a family is returning for them... and yes, children who now face one of two futures~ but I'll save that for another post.

Details released of the supposed meeting have been sketchy, but the bottom line is this: regardless of where you were in the adoption process, if you had not already been to court and had an adoption decree when the ban went into effect, Game Over.

So here's the question... What do you say to these friends whose child(ren) won't be coming home?  Looking to the Bible for the answer, I think there are two options.  The first can be found in the book of Job.  Job had three not-so-helpful friends.  These guys would not.shut.up.  They spoke for chapters and chapters, spewing their supposed wisdom on their hurting friend.  Part of what they said might  have even had some merit-- in a different situation.  And I can't believe that at least some  of it was well intended.

Our words can be like that.
"God has a different plan."
"God knows best."
or the real stinger... "He/she wasn't really (i.e. legally ) your baby anyhow."

Again, there is truth in all of those statements.  The problem is the heart is not governed by laws.  These parents have dreamed the dreams.  They have held these children.  They have spent countless hours and dollars redeeming their children.  They looked into that child's eyes and promised to return for him.
Yes, God does know best.  And at this point, it seems His plan is quite different than the path He had them on over the past months and years.

Job pretty much sums it up in chapter 16, verses 1-3:

"I have heard many things like these;
miserable comforters are you all!
Will your long-winded speeches never end?"

Flip to the New Testament and we find a different example.  Lazarus had died.  Lazarus, the dear, trusted friend of Jesus.  Let's be serious-- Jesus knew Lazarus would be raised from the dead.  He knew God's plan was different... was better.
That knowledge didn't stop Him from going to Mary and Martha, Lazarus' sisters, His beloved friends.  And what happened next?  Jesus wept.

The whole account in John 11 is quite short.  It lacks the soap boxes and platitudes of Job's friends.  All it contains is the deep ache and sorrow Jesus experienced when his friend died.  I'll venture a guess that those tears ministered more to Mary and Martha's hearts than words ever could.

These mamas and daddies who have just come to the end of their Russian adoption journey need to grieve.  As their friend, they need you to walk this road with them. 

They are battle weary.  They are raw.
Walk with them.
Weep with them.
Jesus does.