“There is a time for everything; and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8 (N.I.V.)
Modern day, small town America, baseball, hotdogs and apple pie, county fairs, farms, trucks and John Deere tractors and one woman willing to take a risk. In the courtroom that made up the county’s Family Court the judge asked the middle-aged woman who sat in the witness stand one final question, “Are you willing to have your heart broken if the biological parents decide to fight this adoption? It could happen; you have to be aware of that fact, either parent could show up to claim their parental rights.”
Although he was a judge in Family Court he wasn’t asking the question to be mean, but to make sure the woman and her husband understood the risk they were taking in trying to adopt the child. There was no hesitation as the woman answered, “Yes, yes I am.” She’d asked herself the same question a thousand times over the last few months.
The only thing she knew for certain was that this little girl needed her in a way only she could fulfill for that moment in time. The rest she was taking on faith. That God wanted her and her husband to do this she was certain. She was also certain she could not know the mind of God and she might discover that God was calling them to this role in this child’s life for only a season. For now, that would have to be enough.
There had been miscarriages. There had been many Mother’s Days when she had gone home from church with a token because she was a woman and to not have included her would have made her stand out even more. There had been envious and hungry stares at little babies held in proud Mama and Daddy arms. But she took the chance to mother this child, not out of desperation or a way to fill her own needs but a way to fill the needs of this child.
In another time and on the crowded streets of Jerusalem a woman pushed her way through the crowd surrounding The Teacher. She was a woman sick with an illness that caused her to bleed continuously and she had done so for twelve years. Every penny she had she’d spent on doctors. She did not get better, she got worse. Because she was considered unclean by Jewish law she was not allowed to live with her family or enter the temple. To society she was an outcast.
Someone told her about Jesus. He was a Healer like no physician on earth. He caused the blind to see and the deaf to hear. At His word the lame walked and the demon possessed were freed. “Surely,” she must have thought to herself, “surely such a Prophet can heal me!”
The chance was great. The risk was huge. But somehow she believed that this Jesus was different. “If I touch his clothes, I will be healed.”
So she put it all on the line and pushed her way near enough to just brush the hem of Jesus’ robe with her fingertips. “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples tried to tell him in the press of humanity around him anyone could have brushed against him but Jesus knew that this touch had been different. In this touch there had been great need and great faith. Jesus kept looking around for the one he knew existed. Of course he could have pointed her out but he waited for her to step forward. She did.
Terrified she fell at his feet and told him everything. “He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.”
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Luke 12:22, 32, 34 (N.I.V.)
Again back in modern day America in the parking lot of a mid-size city in Alabama where we watch a white car park in a handicap parking space and turn off the car’s engine. The woman inside opens the back driver’s side door and it is then we realize there is a wheelchair in the floorboard of the car, leaning against the back seat. The chair’s back anti-tip wheels leave the car first, followed quickly by the rest of the wheelchair crashing to the ground.
Inside the car the woman behind the wheel grins and said to herself, “Sometimes you’ve got to be willing to take a few scratches if you’re going to get anything done.”
Before long she has gotten the chair off the ground and is pulling herself up the ramp into the building. A new scratch added to the paint job of her car but a sense of gratitude that God gave her the ability to put the scratch on her car to start with in her heart.
“Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62 (N.I.V.)
“Sometimes, you have got to be willing to take a scratch or two or create a scratch or two to have God fulfill His will in your life.”