Friday, 3 December 2010

Day 2 - The Manger in the Shadow of the Cross

Yesterday, we started off the day with gathering together at the dining room table to read our Advent reading as a family and for one of the kids to hang the next ornament on our Jessie Tree.  Our reading was about Noah and the flood.  I love hearing the kids thoughts about how our daily reading relates to Christmas.  It is a great way to start the day together.

After we finished our bible time, I announced to the kids that they were only going to complete one subject of school and then we were going to work on a special project.  The surprised look on their faces was priceless.  I am usually pretty disciplined when it comes to their school work so I think they were in shock!  As I explained our special project they started to get excited.  I was excited too so while the kids finished their school work I started to get things organized.

Our special project for the day was to bless friends of ours that are going through a very difficult time.  They are a big family like ours and their family is also a blended family of natural kids and kids by adoption so we have a sort of kinship with them.  Over the last five months, they have been preparing to adopt two more children into their family.  These children have been living with them and they love them and we love them.  Today they are having to let them go.  I won't go into all the details but they can no longer be adopted and today our friends will have to say good-bye to two members of their family.  It is a heart wrenching experience that we as a family have also walked not so long ago.  We remember the heart ache like it was yesterday.  We understand the parents broken hearts and our kids understand their kids broken hearts.  No one wants this situation, the parents and kids that are staying don't want it and the kids that have to leave don't want to go.  It is a situation in which you just have to trust that God will continue to be with all involved no matter where they are.

So although we cannot lesson the heartache for our friends, we decided to try to do something practical to make their last full day together easier. We made them a big dinner with homemade gingerbread cookies for dessert.  It is not a big thing but it was something to show them that we care.  We hung out with them yesterday afternoon.   We didn't shy away from their pain.  We let them be how they needed to be yesterday.  Even though there is nothing that we can say or do to lessen their heavy hearts we just wanted them to know we loved them.  Yesterday, I hugged my friend and I didn't try to tell her that everything would be alright because the truth is that it isn't okay.  I believe Jesus will heal her broken heart and He will not leave any of them for a moment during this time but the whole situation is still terrible.

So although our special project started off with the warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling of working together to help our friends by making them dinner.   I think we all learned more by just being with them during a difficult time.  For myself, I was reminded that this is why Jesus humbled himself to come and walk among us.  He immersed himself in the lives of people.  Not just in good times but in difficult times.  When I look at His life I see so many examples of the way He loved people.  Loving people is often messy, heartbreaking and difficult.  God sent Jesus because He knew that life in a fallen world is broken and the only way to fix it was for Him to send His Son to pay the ransom for us all.  Jesus birth at Christmas leads us to His death and resurrection at Easter.  The manger needs to be seen the shadow of the cross.  In the end all will be made right.

For today, please join us in praying for our friends.

"And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away.  And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he saith, Write: for these words are faithful and true."  - Revelations 21:3-5

1 comment:

  1. My heart broke when I read that your friends would have to give up their children. I cannot begin to imagine their pain nor that of the children leaving the home they've grown to know and love. They are blessed to have friends like you who keep them in prayer and can be there when they need a shoulder. God bless.