February 9, 2014

Rescue Me

I love you, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  
(Psalm 18:1-2)

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“It’s here!” she hears from across the room.  “Come quick!  Let’s open it and see what’s inside!”  The postman has just delivered a small brown package, the one they have all been anticipating for the past few weeks.  The other adults in the room are willingly interrupted from their duties, and come over to get a peek at the contents of the package.  The older children nearby pause briefly from their activities, sensing the excitement in the air.  One little girl, who has been playing quietly, tries to see past the children who are crowding around, curious about this change in the daily routine.  She has no idea that with the arrival of that package, her life is about to be forever changed.

No one knows exactly how old this little girl is.  She can’t remember a time when she didn’t live in this little room in this grey building, the one in the middle of a busy city.  The one with all the beds and never enough blankets.  The one with all the children like her, who have no families.  She has heard stories about the day someone found her and brought her here to live, but some of the details are inconsistent and vague, and she has no idea how much of it is true.

She has learned that when a small brown package arrives, it means something special is about to happen.  One of the children will soon have a mother and father coming, and that child will go to live with them.  She has heard the word “adoption” before, but she really isn’t quite sure what it means.  And besides, it probably won’t ever apply to her anyway.  She has deformities that make people cringe when they see her.  The local doctors are unable to help her.  She has heard the comments:  some people actually pray that she will die.  Her future looks bleak, and with each passing day her hopes for a family slowly diminish.

In many ways, I was just like that little girl.  I had lost hope.   The cords of fear entangled me.  The torrents of depression overwhelmed me.  Anxiety had become my enemy.  The daily struggle was too strong for me.  (Psalm 18:4, 17)

Countless nights she has cried herself to sleep, whispering into the dark, “Is there anyone who will love me?  Why don’t I have a father who will protect me and provide for me?  Will there ever be a mother who will look past my disabilities and just accept me the way I am?  Please, won’t someone rescue me?”

In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. (Psalm 18:6)

She doesn’t know that on another continent on the other side of the world, her silent pleas reach their ears.  Their hearts are filled with many conflicting emotions:  deep compassion for her plight and pitiful circumstances; fierce anger at cultures that toss children aside as if they were worthless rubbish; excited anticipation that perhaps she could become a part of their family.  They begin the long process of bringing her home, not reluctantly out of duty or obligation, but with great delight.

The obstacles are monumental, but their determination to reach her refuses to be dampened.  The earth practically trembles and quakes as the letters, phone calls, e-mails, and texts are sent back and forth between agencies and officials.  With each document that is completed, signed, notarized, and copied, the mountains of paperwork shake, diminishing page by page.  The dossier soars on the wings of the wind as it travels the globe, finally reaching its intended destination.  She doesn’t know that they are moving heaven and earth to rescue her.

I didn’t know that all those times when I thought God was silent, He was coming!  He was moving heaven and earth to rescue  me!  The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook . . . He parted the heavens and came down; He soared on the wings of the wind.  (Psalm 18:7-10)

At last, the package arrives at her building.  It has her name on it!  Can it really be true?  Is it meant for her?  There is a soft teddy bear inside, the first one she has ever held.  It is a precious gift, one sent to let her know that she is loved. 

There is a picture book inside, with carefully placed photos of her new family.  She had no idea that a mother could be so beautiful!  She turns the page, and there she gets her first glimpse of the man who will become her father.  He is taller and stronger than she ever imagined a father could be!  And just look at all those siblings.  So many brothers and sisters to love, and who will love her in return.  With whom she will share life and build memories that no one can steal.

She finds some toys in the package.  Some yummy treats.  And there, tucked inside the package is the paper that she had lost hope of ever seeing.  At the top of the paper, written in official script, is her new name. 

No longer is she called “Orphan.”  She is now called “Beloved.” 

Next to her picture, the old words are crossed out:  waiting, searching, available.  In large bold font are the words that describe her now:  FOUND, MATCHED, CHOSEN.

She can scarcely take it all in.  Her.  They chose her.  Out of more than 150 million orphans in the world, she is the one they chose to become their child!

When she considers her circumstances, nothing has changed yet.  She still lives in the same little room in the same grey building in the middle of a busy city.  However, with the arrival of that small brown package, everything has changed!  Her new parents are preparing her room for her.  She will soon be living in a real house with a backyard where she can play in the fresh air and sunshine.  And nearby will be a playground where she can swing and slide and twirl.

The temptation to despair is always before me.  But God has helped me conquer it.  My circumstances have not changed.  However, I am no longer trapped in darkness and guilt and loneliness.  He brought me out into a spacious place.  He turned my darkness into light.  (Psalm 18:19, 28)

Her limbs still do not work correctly, and she is in constant pain from her debilitating condition.  But she knows that soon her new doctors will heal her.  They will not give up on her.  One day soon she will be like other children, strong and healthy and whole.  Her feet will learn how to run.

There is so much that I still have to learn.  It is a constant struggle to overcome bad habits and destructive thoughts.  But my weaknesses no longer define me or cause me shame.  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.  (Psalm 18:32-33)

As she lies in her bed tonight, she does not cry.  Instead, she hugs her new teddy bear, the one that promises she has not been forgotten, close to her heart.  She smiles in the darkness.  She now knows what “adoption” means.  “Someone loves me,” she whispers into the night.  “I have a new family, and I know that they are coming for me soon.”  She now has a new name, and inside her soul hope is kindled.  “Thank you,” she sighs with secret joy.  “Thank you for rescuing me.”

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me . . . the Lord was my support . . . He rescued me, not reluctantly out of duty or obligation, but because he delighted in me.  (Psalm 18:16-19)

 “Thank you,” I sigh with secret joy.  “Thank you for rescuing me.”

1 comment:

  1. I keep coming back and reading this - so beautiful. Thank you, B. To God be the Glory! :)