Have you ever read a verse or passage in the Bible, one that you’ve read or heard so many times you thought you had it all figured out, only to see it in a new and fresh way? It’s happened to me before and it happened again this week, and for some reason I’m always surprised. Imagine that, I don’t have it all figured out…
This week in Hebrews I read the often quoted chapter 10 verse 22-24:
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
There is so much to discuss! But I will keep this to one story since blog posts are supposed to be brief and interesting… No promises on the interesting part.
A few months ago I was asked if I wanted to contribute to ForestView’s blog. We had just started fostering a baby and I felt like my hands were pretty full so I put the request out of my mind until this week. As I read those words in Hebrews I realized that I had been wrong not to share our story with you. I had been concerned that in writing this story you might think I was trying to tell you what a good person I had become, or that you might think I thought you should do what we are doing. But now I wonder if I have been going about sharing my story in all the wrong ways. I have been missing the opportunity to spur those in my community toward love and good deeds.
When people find out that we have become foster parents they often have so many questions. One of the big ones is “How will you say goodbye?” The answer to that question depends on my frame of mind at the time and varies from “It will be hard” to “Who cares? Every child needs someone to love them.” I have been missing the opportunity to explain that this is how we are called to share God’s love and then to ask how they do that in their lives? People often want to tell us what good people we must be for doing this, but I can honestly tell you we don’t feel like we are. We are doing what God has asked us to do. So I am wondering what God has asked you to do? This is my small way of spurring you on toward love and good deeds. Maybe it’s taking care of a neighbour in your community or the homeless person you pass on your way to work everyday. Maybe it’s finding a way to support a friend who is doing something hard? Perhaps it’s finding a foster family and supporting them in their call to action. Whatever it is, I pray that you will be reminded to share the love God has for you with those around you. You don’t have to do what I’m doing, but you can put your faith into action in some way that will encourage you as much as it does the people you’re pouring into.
So now when people tell me they could never be a foster parent, I will ask them what they CAN do. If I have learned anything in my short time in the trenches, it’s that trying to love the way God does isn’t easy no matter which way you decide to share that love. The joy that it brings though is well worth the cost. If we truly believe in this God that loves us despite our ugliness, then we must share that love with our community. Not because we have to but because we want to. As our faith flows out of us in this way, we are putting our faith into action. Following God’s call on our lives puts us in our sweet spot. The “this is hard but I’ve never felt more alive” sweet spot.
I am so grateful to the people who have gone before us and been examples to us. There are many people at ForestView who have fostered and/adopted, walked alongside someone hurting or lived an intentional life in other incredible ways that have encouraged us to take this small step. May you be encouraged to take that plunge, do the hard things, love the way Christ does even though it is messy. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19