Yes, me. Guilty. Guilty of letting my emotions get in the way of my rationale. Guilty of speaking too soon. Guilty of over reacting at times. Guilty of casting judgment on people and situations when I had no way of knowing what their experience might have been, because my haste to prove a point got ahead of my compassion for those whose shoes I'd never walked in. Yes, there are many times in life when it is important to speak up and speak out. But there are also many times in life that doing so, without clear prompting from God, can be nothing short of recklessness.
I would consider myself a person passionate about the care of children. I completely adore my own children, have worked with children in some way for much of my life and support adoption and orphan care on a variety of levels. Just recently has foster care become one of the ways I express my care for children. I have been known to climb many a soap box when it comes to these things, and am not for a moment promising it won't happen again.
With a different perspective now.
With the most humble understanding that while it may be appropriate for me to challenge my fellow Christians to give up their daily latte, Christmas gifts or birthdays, or even more, to "walk their talk", when it comes to the decision of sacrificing one's family, I will leave that conviction up to the most capable discretion of God.
You see, when we started our journey of foster care, with the purest of intention, but also the untouched, naive heart, I publicly challenged others to "take up the cross" and care for those around them. I was prepared to rally the troops and even secretly judged those who appeared to me as indifferent. Oh how this breaks my heart now. And oh how I apologize. For I had no idea what I was asking. I had no idea the potential depth of sacrifice. Now, having walked it for a spell, I realize it isn't up to me to "guilt" anyone into service. Is service that is motivated entirely by guilt genuine anyway? I think at times I have taken my "job" a bit too seriously, perhaps making my responsibility more than it should be. Maybe even forgetting that while God desires a heart to serve, ultimately, He doesn't need me to do His work....he blesses me with the opportunity to participate because He loves me. I am thankful He loves me that much! And that He also loves me enough to keep on teaching me in spite of myself. I will never take so lightly the sacrifice of one's family and I will most definitely be more careful about judging others and their circumstances that I have no inside point of view on. Lesson learned.
Perhaps true compassion is as much about what we don't do as it is about what we do.
His work in progress,