Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Loose Tooth

There it was. Hanging out the front of this Kindergartener's mouth was the loosest, most non-connected tooth you've ever seen that wasn't already under a pillow. It had been bothering her all morning, and had just reached the point of no return. 

We all remember that moment, right? We've wiggled that tooth front to back and side to side, we can even see under it when we tip it far enough. She has finagled and twisted this tooth to where it is no longer in its proper place and can't go back to where it was earlier, but it's not out either.  Now she's asking me for help. 
Now being the mother of seven, I have almost 140 instances of experience with loose teeth and have no problem removing the loose teeth of my own kids. This is different. She's my school kid. I'm not her mother, and I feel the true nature of her dilemma.

How many times have we battled with the things that have outlived their place in our lives and we just can't give them up? We poke at them and twist them, even tip them from side to side, but when it comes time to remove it, we just...can't. 

Even when we can see two shiny new adult teeth behind this little obsolete baby tooth, she still held tight to the tooth she had always known, that had served her so well all these long five years of her life.  I just couldn't yank her old friend away from her. However, lunch time was coming soon, and the tooth wasn't going back! The best thing to do in this situation was to look to the future without that hangy little tooth. 

I ended up holding her tooth in a baggie (ziploc hazmat) while she leaned in to let me see the new teeth behind it, and darned if that tooth didn't fall right out! Right into the baggie!

Turns out it wasn't really connected any more. Kind of like the old hurt feelings and grudges I've been holding onto. Perhaps I could just put them in a baggie and finally let them go.

Maybe there's something shiny and new waiting to take their place.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Newly Adopted Baby

I saw a video of a family.  I don't know the Mom, never met the Dad.  They may be a family member of a facebook friend's facebook friend.  Still, I cried.  I watched as the man and woman were handed their newly ADOPTED infant son for the first time.  He was a fresh little newborn, and in that moment, a MOTHER was born and a FATHER was born, and a FAMILY was created.  It was an amazing transformation to watch.  

I watched as these two new parents looked at their son with SO MUCH love and hope.  This little fella could do no wrong, and he carries on his little baby shoulders all of their hopes and dreams to carry on the family name, and show the world what it means to be a (fill in the family name of the kid here, I don't know it.) They have hopes to raise this child in a home filled with love and respect and for that child to grow to be the kind of person that makes the world a better place.  They have offered their love to a child that, for whatever reason, was given to be raised in a family other than the one it was born into.  What a gift those birth parents gave.

As the Mother handed her son to the Father, I watched his face.  This man accepted this child as his son, and accepted him into his arms and his heart.  You could feel so much more than "acceptance" in his expression.  He held his new son protectively, and he will be called on to protect this little man from the hurtful things of this world..  He supported his head, as he will support him emotionally and financially, spiritually and if necessary, physically.  He wrapped his arms around this tiny little baby and TOOK HIM IN.

I couldn't stop crying.  The moment was touching, and the family was sweet, but it was more. The Father looked at his newly adopted son the way I felt GOD looking at me when I was without a pulse.  No words were heard, no vision was experienced, but I came back with the knowledge within every cell of my being that I was (and AM) loved just like that.  Perfectly accepted.  Perfectly anticipated, expected, hoped for, and pursued, and loved beyond all comprehension. Not some random child, but HIS child.

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those that are under the law, so that we might receive ADOPTION. As proof that you are children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"  So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. (Galatians 4:7)  

 I am called to be HIS beloved child that carries HIS family name.  I am called to show the world what it means to be a CHRISTIAN (I KNOW that family name!)  I will help create a culture of love and respect, and do all I can to make the world a more loving place. My parents gave me the gift of being part of this Christian family. I love them for it!

My heart cries "Abba, Father!" and he wraps his loving arms around me and TAKES ME IN.

That's what I saw.