I’ve been feeling uncomfortable disconnected disappointed disconcerted with my church for some time now. It started during my pregnancy for Kimani and it has grown into a nagging feeling that I cannot shake.
I probably could have managed to ignore it if not for the picture, titled Rescue Me, that appeared in the upstairs hallway. I have to look right at it each time I exit the stairwell to go down the hall to my office. It is under copyright so if you want to see it, go look.
It is a picture of part of a child’s face, an obviously non-American child, and on it are the words,
“As the body of Christ our greatest crime against humanity is our indifference and indecision towards the cultural problems we are faced with. This tolerance lulls us into a state of limbo that kills action. Without action there is no rescue. For some, without rescue there is no hope. You can be that hope, you can be that rescue."
It immediately makes me think of orphans that need to be rescued. You might think it is wonderful that our church feels so strongly about this sort of “cultural problem” that such a lovely reminder was chosen to hang on the wall, but...
When God called us to adopt an orphan who without rescue would have no hope in this world, we were shocked to find out the cost of an international adoption. I felt ill as I read the sheet of impending expenses... document fees, required donations, court costs, facilitation fees, translation costs, attorney fees, travel expenses... It was overwhelming and insurmountable.
Then an amazingly generous donor appeared and offered to cover two-thirds of the cost but only if other donors could be found to raise the remaining funds. We were thrilled. We knew we could raise the rest. After all, we are part of a huge church and we have zillions of friends and family and acquaintances who all love God and care about orphans.
Our first stop was the church. My husband met with the appropriate leader and explained our mission to him. He asked for any financial support our church might be able to give. He was told that our church doesn’t assist with adoptions, that the elders have not approved that sort of benevolence.
I admit, I was stunned. We are not an infertile couple seeking help to adopt the perfect Russian doll. We are just an average family seeking to do God’s will to rescue two children facing life in cold hard hopeless institutions. My heart was hurt that our church of all these years showed “indifference” toward this very real “cultural problem”.
And then the fine art print appeared in the hallway and now I can’t ignore my feelings anymore but the problem is... I don’t know what to do with them.
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