And did I learn a lot. The challenges this family dealt with due to adopting a child eventually diagnosed with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) and RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) are astonishing. How this played out through the adoption, health care, and education systems sheds light on the many challenges of families trying to love and care for their mentally ill children.
This story is a good reminder of three lessons:
You never know what is going on in a stranger’s life. You may witness something you think you understand, but it’s impossible to know the full story.
Media can get it wrong also. Just because the headline says it doesn’t make it true.
Grace goes a long way. Give it as much as you need it.
I read John 19 this morning, Good Friday. Here are two interesting verses to contrast:
15 They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?”
“We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests answered.
19 Pilate also had a sign made and put on the cross. It said: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
So many questions. Did the chief priests really mean what they said? Did they really view Caesar as their king? If so, what did they say to the people around them when they spoke about their God, their loyalty to him? Seems contradictory. Feels familiar in 2021 America.
Of course, one could understand from Jesus’ teachings that the chief priests didn’t really get it. When Jesus talked about the kingdom of God, his language and teaching may have even gone over their heads, too. They either didn’t understand it or they rejected it. Either is tragic for them and the people they led. Seems that what we continue to witness happen in religious circles when leaders focus their eyes on the wrong king isn’t anything new.
As a follower of Jesus, to declare allegiance to any created being over their Creator declares citizenship in an earthly kingdom. Some scholars teach that Pilate’s note on his sign wasn’t so much a personal declaration as a statement of charge-that Jesus claimed to be the King of the Jews. Interesting that, regardless of his intent, Pilate-the non-Jew, the one not looking for a Messiah, the one who was simply trying to do justice for the accused man-declared the truth.
May we all on this Good Friday declare that Jesus is King.
The main reason they stuck is the contrast between the doubting of love and the exchanging of grace. Been on my mind for several weeks now, so these lyrics heard through the lens of Easter stopped me in my morning routine.
That’s what grace does. Makes you pause. Humbles your expectations. Erases your doubts. Brings you back.
May we all pause in humility to be brought back from our wandering through the erasing of our doubts of God’s love this Easter!