Snow flakes seemed to dance through the air to the Downhere Christmas melody playing on the radio. So I turned my thoughts to Him. To the King who gave up His throne for me. And I wondered about the season called "Christmas" and the adopted Christ child, Jesus. It was very solemn in the car. By this time Lydia was nodding in and out of sleep while Chappy focused on following the winding country road that would soon lead to Natalie. Neither noticed when God wrapped His big arms around me, tenderly tilted my head back onto his chest, and encouraged my mind to once again, take a journey:
"You know, Father, when Joseph adopted Jesus, he didn't get a baby with a lot of problems. He became the Father of YOUR Son, who by the way, was literally perfect!"
I let the statement settle, making my point.
No answer came, so I considered poor Joseph. His heart must have turned flips when the angel said: 'Joseph, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child growing within her was conceived by God....oh, and by the way, He's the promised Messiah.'
AND regardless of the angel's warning to not be afraid, I think it is safe to bet he was very afraid! Although he grew up well versed in scripture and knew God had spoken to Noah, to Moses, and to Elijah.....the simple carpenter could have never, in his wildest dreams, expected to get a personal call from God. But there it was. The Messiah, the long awaited One, would be Joseph's adopted son.
Hmmmm. Did Joseph immediately attach to Jesus? Did he pick the Savior up from the manger, cradle Him in his arms and say: "My son!" or did he simply look down upon his tiny face and think: "You are God's son."
How does one, after all, connect with the Son of God? What am I asking? Of course Joseph connected with One who is perfect love, right? OR....were there issues?
Well at first, when Jesus was just a toddler, things had to be blissful. Joseph teaching the little fella' to manage His first steps, playing games like peek-a-boo with Him, and encouraging Him to speak His first words: "Da-Da...go ahead and say it Jesus....I'm your Da-Da".
Oh, well, that might have been awkward. Joseph, knowing the Creator of the Universe sees and hears everything. He must have felt uncomfortable asking God's son to call him "Da-Da".
(Pause) Why had I never contemplated Jesus' adoption before?
And when did Mary and Joseph tell Jesus He was God's Son? Surely they did when He was old enough to understand. How did that earth-saving knowledge impact the relationship between Joseph and Jesus?
Adoption isn't perfect in the very best scenario, so why do I spend time dissecting what I should have done or could have done....when the truth of the matter is I have done my best? I'm not perfect, so I fit in right with Joseph.
God didn't look for a perfect man to be Jesus' adopted father, because there is no perfect man. Likewise, God wasn't looking for a perfect mother for Natalie, because there is no perfect female. In fact, God's proof that He is NOT looking for perfection is the Christmas story. If human beings were perfect, there would have been no need for the virgin birth.
My head still resting back on Father's chest, He finally spoke with a question: "Joseph believed. Do you believe?"
"Do I believe? I want to believe with everything in my being, Lord. But I am so afraid. You know, I have been praying eight years for you to heal Hope's heart, but You haven't. And you have given neither Hope nor Charlie the ability to talk...and on top of that, they both battle extreme sensory issues. They are trying so hard to fit into this world You created, but every single day is a monumental struggle for them. People stare at them, feel uncomfortable around them, and reject them. And it makes my heart hurt so bad. Then there is Natalie. I didn't even see Reactive Attachment Disorder coming at me until it had run completely over me. One day my daughter was Natalie, and then the next day she was someone I didn't even recognize. She was abandoned as a baby, and now she must feel like I have abandoned her too. How can a fifteen year old girl comprehend all she's going through? Yes, I am doing my best....but my best right now is....."
The car stopped? When had I dozed off? I didn't remember feeling sleepy.
"Everybody out. We are about 20 minutes away and this is the last pit stop before we enter the gates of the Wings Of Faith Academy," Chappy said as he unbuckled his seat belt.
I followed his lead, stepped out into the bitter cold, and walked toward a tiny market alongside a desolate road. There wasn't a car in the parking lot, and not even a single car passed by on the road in front of the market. Little did I know my chat with God was setting me up for this moment....
(continued tomorrow)----Thank you to all who have ordered The Loyalty Lock from Lydia. She is giving a portion of the proceeds to the therapeutic boarding school where Natalie is residing. The school is wanting to build a gym for their 20 female residents, and Lydia is determined to help make that happen. To order your Loyalty Lock, visit: http://www.loyaltylock.org/ They are $14.99 with a flat $2.00 shipping: