Pretend you go

pretend you had a lost daughter

Who in your mind will always be

A beautiful baby girl

Now pretend that in order to survive

You start to see your beautiful lost baby

In everyone

Then “everyone” starts to do things they really should not do

Go places they should not go

Smash through rules…

designed for their safety

So you, poor sot, try to warn them away…

From the crap they should not get into

But they don’t really wanna listen

Because who the heck are you anyway?

(Half-crazed stranger with some lost kid)

Yet you still 

love them

You know because you lost a child.

So you go find them

In the crack houses

Strip joints

And IRS offices where they work

…and screw up royally

Because you know

That is what love does

Abstract-I get it

So let me try once more–

Years ago I rode on a bus in a country men travelled to in order to have “legal” sex with minors.

A white man got on the bus with a girl from this other country.

A girl, not a woman.

We.  The people on the bus.  Watched them travel together.  Knowing (ball-parking, at least)…their destination.

Their terrible destination.

If she is alive somewhere I would hold her

Tell her her “job” was not her fault 

Tell her I love you

(No matter what)

–I love you

Now please darling, 

Come home.

Numbered with the transgressors

Not quite four years ago.

It was a watershed moment. I looked around the courtroom at the other bewildered parents, frankly wishing that my (adopted) son was just a weed dealer or boat thief.

He had done so much worse, and to people who were too young, innocent, and precious to deserve such terrible affliction.

I whined to God–why?! Why me? Why us? Why this?

Too much to bear…

That was my line of thinking until steady eyed Jesus reminded me of the thing He had done for me–

…numbered with the transgressors

I was numbered with the transgressors.

The message was clear–if He, blameless God, could be counted with the evildoers, I could stand this terrible heartbreak and shame.

After all, He was numbered for me, an actual transgressor.

We often forget what misery we have bought but not yet fully paid for in our rebellion against Love.

Love, heartbroken for His children. All His children.

How to be a failure

First of all, let me restate for the record:

I am an egregious sinner and a (to quote my adopted daughter)–“failed parent.”

So yeah. Don’t be me:)

Second, a story…

When I first became a parent it was to a 12 year old boy who had been through hell.

He flipped out fast, threw rocks at our neighbors’ cars, and his caseworker told us our only option was to call the police.

Our next two charges we kept, despite the fact that they screamed at the top of their lungs 2-3 hours a day.

We lived in a cute little neighborhood. Imagine our neighbors’ chagrin when the howling started and their tremendous relief when we finally moved.

Imagine being young, reasonably cute and surrounded by a maelstrom of LOUD everywhere you went.

I still can’t believe we did it.

But we did.

Because we believed

In Jesus

Still believe, actually.

Before I wrote this I asked my oldest biological child how how life would have been different for this child and the family if I had followed advice we have encountered over and over about hiding our adopted son’s predations.

The answer was a chilling thing–

If I had, if we had, hidden the crimes against our children and supported their predator, we would have unleashed darkness on our children.

In other words–we had to tell the truth, be the failures in the eyes of family, church, and community to succeed in the one thing that matters–showing our children they are precious.

In fact I would say this to all of them the same–you are precious.

And if you are a threat to yourselves or others I will be the first person to call the police.

Because, my dear, we all deserve the law–it’s gravity and protection.

Beneath a grim and unavoidable Cross.

One Verse at a Time

When you get to the hard stuff, slow down. And nothing feels harder than being told to die.

Jesus says he is going to be rejected by all legitimate authority and then he is going to die. Then he says, follow me.

Mark 8:34 (NIV)
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

I can think of few things I dislike more than denying myself and carrying my cross. But I gotta follow Jesus! I can’t imagine life without him. He is love made real.

Why would love made real tell me to trudge to my own death?

I used to think the picture of this verse was Jesus with his big ol’ real cross and his followers with their smaller crosses. Then I realized that when he tells us to take up our cross it is the back end of the Cross he carried to his death. He carried my cross up that hill. When he tells me to pick it up he is just telling me to participate as a pedestrian observer in a drama he played out for real and keeps.

Imagine my cross without him.