hiding from my flesh

Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the LORD had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains."
(2 Samuel 7:2)

One morning David woke up, and everything was clear. He was living in luxury while his center of worship was housed in a tent.

David was a spiritual man. He was committed to God. He wasn’t serving idols. At least he didn't think so before the epiphany hit.

You know the rest. God told David He wanted another king to build that temple.

Still, these two verses keep pushing themselves back into my mind almost daily since China. Where do I dwell? And where am I content to let the work of God dwell?

‘Mentioned this to Bobby this morning while we were waking up, and he reminded me of this passage:

6"Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
7"Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

(Isaiah 58)

The words that catch me are the last eight. What is my own flesh?

Until last month, “my own flesh” meant my two birth children. My brother. My parents. If I saw them naked, starving, abused, would I continue life as normal? Unthinkable. I would do whatever it took to defend and sustain them. That is deep in my blood.

But on July 19th “my own flesh” grew to include an adoptive union made by God. I don’t know how to describe this adequately for those who haven’t adopted a child yet; but I can feel it when Moses falls asleep in my arms, little fingers woven tightly into my hair. It is a tactile, primal, maternal bond. He is familiar in the same way the sound of my own breath is familiar inside my chest. And I can feel the force of this rising up inside me when old men stare. I would fight for him. I am his. He is mine. We are the same.

Isaiah says “my own flesh” goes beyond this. To the unnamed. To the uneducated. To the broken. I believe this with my mind, but not fully yet with my heart. I want to. I am theirs. They are mine. We are the same.

Last night, our church leadership + the community outreach team met with the leadership of a local ministry that provides food for the hungry. The lady who started this outreach has apparently seen some hard stuff. She's been hungry, and she knows what it feels like to ask for food. While she was struggling, she was treated with disrespect because of her need, sometimes by church ministries established to help the poor. She is determined to do things differently, now that she's in a position to help others.

She doesn't mince words. Her life is colorful and so are her metaphors. Trust comes slow for her. Raw and real. More in touch with the reality of her own flesh than I am.

Nothing ever seems to change
But miles away beneath the waves
Down below the dirt
Hotter than a flame
In the belly of the earth
He has given you a Name

from Andrew Peterson's
"Mountains on the Ocean Floor"

Gift of Grace  – (August 27, 2010 at 10:29 AM)  

Thanks for posting these thoughts. If for no other reason than that someday Moses will read this blog and he deserves to know that you were moved by what you saw in China and you are wrestling with what to do with that, not just forgetting what you know to be true.

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About This Blog

Welcome to our family’s adoption journey. As you read, you will see us stumble and take wrong paths. You will see our hopes surge and fall. You will see the gaps in our humanity, and how our God realigns us to His purposes over and again. We think the messiness of this process is important. Sometimes walking with God isn’t a neat, linear package that can be summarized in bullet points. More often, life ebbs and flows around our plans, while God works His sovereign wonders from it all. We are learning so much through this journey. And we are super excited about our new son. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you along for the ride.

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