Monday, December 12, 2011

Guest Blogger, Clay: "Just as our Savior's humble beginnings..."

So I have been wanting to write this post for months, talked about it, asked Clay about it, and today I got an email from him that said, "I was thinking a lot about this and here's what I wrote" here you have it.

Allow yourself for a moment to imagine what it would be like to be a child again.  Now imagine being born into a place where no one wanted you; to parents that would not, or could not take care of you.  Imagine Christmas with no family, no favorite Christmas food or treat, and no toys or gifts to unwrap (and no expectation of any).  Imagine no mother or father to tuck you in and read stories.  No sense of unbridled anticipation for the coming morning, probably not knowing it is any different than any other day.  Imagine hoping, praying that someday, someone would come to claim you as their own and take you home where you could celebrate Christmas like the “other kids”, want to be with you and love you.  So long as it is before you turn five.  Because if you reach that age without being rescued then you are no longer able to be loved claimed.  At that point you go to an institution where you are kept in a prison crib until you either go insane, or worse, you fail to thrive and you end up dying alone. 
This is the life for many kids like those represented by Reece’s Rainbow.  Kids born with Down syndrome, other special needs, or that are just “different” in many Eastern European countries, among others, are considered faux pax. Many are left to orphanages and institutions.  Some are loved while there, but many are mistreated, malnourished and left with little hope.  Their society shuns them and people turn their heads. Many of us also turn a blind eye or decide “not to think about it” as we see or hear of a beautiful child left unwanted. 
As we think of Christmas, most of us think of the season, the festivities, the décor, the music, maybe we read the Christmas story and set our eyes momentarily on the birth of our Savior.  I never really stopped to think too much about the setting, other than the what you see or hear in the brief reading of the “Nativity Story”, but Christ’s birth, apart from the fact that it was to his virgin mother, was miraculous in its own way.  Jesus was probably born somewhere, in a primitive shelter.  Mary and Joseph’s lives were completely turned upside down as they were on the run.  And Jesus would spend His early days as a refugee from a bloodthirsty and vindictive King.  Hardly the mood of our typical Christmas mornings.  Yet from those humble and precarious beginnings came a gift of unimaginable proportions.  A savior.  Our King.  One to deliver us from our wretchedness and selfish, sinful ways to adopt us forever into his Kingdom however undeserving we must be – and surely are. 
As we enter this time in celebration of the birth of our Savior, it is time to be His hands and feet and adopt those that are helpless, and hopeless as Christ has adopted us -  those that haven’t the luxury, or the memory, of a Christmas morning with family and gifts.   It is time to adopt what the world would refer to as “the least of these,” but what our Father surely proclaims as the greatest inhabitants of His Kingdom.  Adopt in the literal sense, or in the supportive sense through giving.  As in James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” 
This year, before you buy another sweater, trinket or tie, consider a gift with eternal impact.  A gift that could forever change a child and his or her future family.  Reece’s Rainbow is a non-profit global Down syndrome adoption charity that our family has been supporting for a couple of years.  Fortunately there are number of families out there that would love nothing more than to take these kids home, however, unfortunately, the costs involved range from $20,000 - $40,000 for adoption, including travel, interpreters, legal, etc.  Take a minute to look at some of the profiles and the difference you could make.

This angel baby found the most incredible home!!!
And this is our little angel we are supporting this year...