Song of the month: U2- Invisible
So this is number two in my Everything series for church planters. Which kinda shows you I have a slightly skewed view of EVERYTHING right? From time to time I’ll compare church planting to something I’ve learned in my life. And at the moment I’m having the said epiphany, it will truly be my everything moment…till the next one. Call it church planting relativism…or just call it fun.
As a mother of two adopted girls who are 100% part of my body and soul, engraved into the fabric of who I am, and who I’m becoming; I know what it is to press forward in life toward something that most other humans will never experience. Perhaps, if we are honest, even what many would find un-palatable.
Most have no desire to adopt their babies, Church plant in a foreign country, cycle the Great Wall of China, scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef, or do a cartwheel in front of an audience of a thousand people or more…But that’s because this is MY Bucket list and not theirs…This is the view from my tree swing with the speed of my white legs pushing me forward.
From time to time people will look at my husband and myself and our beautiful girls and say, “It’s so amazing what you guys are doing.” I smile cause that’s the nice thing to do, but inside I feel guilty for taking credit where credit is honestly not due…and I want to find a way to explain to them…I really had no choice…It was part of my bucket list..
If they only knew… We didn’t adopt out of the goodness of our heart, or some great need to save the world one life at a time. We adopted cause that was what we had to do to survive in this life. To keep moving ahead. Inhale…Exhale…Keep our heart from dying…And until our girls were both born and brought into our family, four years apart, a part of us would not be alive.
We adopted cause our babies were coming into this world and we were on the receiving end. We had to catch the pitch or regret the play for the rest of our lives. We had no more of a choice in the matter than any other wide-eyed couple who hears the doctor say, “The baby’s crowning”… and then… “Your baby is here.” Gasp…delight…freak out…
Some people think you Adopt cause you couldn’t have a “baby or your own.” And once you adopt they smile and sweetly say, “Oh now you’re gonna get pregnant!”…As though adoption is a sort of fertility drug to propel you toward your “real” child. And they have their folklore to back up their views…But it’s not reality.
The reality is, just as their child was born to them, our child was born to us, for no other reason than it is what was designed for our life. This was how we were suppose to be built into the landscape of God’s earth. God’s planet. God’s people. One People. One Culture. One race. One family. One Genetics.
Adoption teaches us, actually slaps us soundly in the face with the reality that, like U2 wrote in their latest song, “There is no Them, there is only Us.”
We feel uncomfortable with this..especially if we’ve never had our heart affected with the reality of adoption. The reality that both Scientifically and Spiritually, we are all genetically linked by one great Parent… we are one massive family tree. Yet very few people ever get to embrace this fact in their daily loving.
As a hunk of humanity, we have the special worm-like talent of dividing. We can segregate ourselves over language, politics, gender, socioeconomics, i.e. type of Starbucks we like, gluten, dairy, organic…and you get the picture…But that doesn’t change the fact we are One.
We will die like One.
And we will rise again like One.
And we will stand before Him as One humanity.
Enter the church planter:
As Church planters, we are often seen as a threat to God’s REAL, legit family. You know… the one with the heritage and family name that has been passed on from generation to generation, with its big ‘ole family tree trunk yawning way back into the early church… The REAL church…And depending on who you talk to, you will get a different view as to who the REAL church is. The REAL Family.
Perhaps the generous among our peers think we church plant cause we couldn’t birth a REAL church and this is just a stepping stone to real, true, living, ministry. Like their view of an adoptive kid being the second choice, they see church planting as a last resort.
Others, those who are more honest, can’t believe we’d risk such a thing. They warn us. They encourage us not to make ourselves so vulnerable, don’t put ourselves on the line for something they perceive as second-rate, easily broken, rejected, and whispered about in biased corners.
But like the adoptive parent….we press on cause we know the secret to the universe… We know what really makes us the “Jones family”. We know we are all One and there is really no family distinction. No rejected child, no second choice…no…no…no.
We know we church plant cause that’s what we have to do. This is part of our Bucket list…The next step in our life if we are going to keep moving forward… Keep living and not shrivel up and die within the temporary cocoon of this world. We know we have to break out and broaden the boarders of our family tree…till there are no more boarders, no one left to be grafted in.
We know the secret… That while everyone is fighting over church genetics, the real church has only one true DNA, and its Helix spiral is spiritual, not physical. It has One Father, and One family name, and One mission…to keep building an unbiased family tree. No more boarders. No more rejected.
After all, “There is no Them, there is only Us.”