November 13, 2007

The Unexpected Blessing of Strangers

givinghandsIf my last post left you feeling like transracial adoption would destroy any chance of privacy in your life - take heart! There is the other side of the attention our unique families receive – some times God uses it to bring out the best in the people we meet. We've received countless words of encouragement, of blessing and many smiles when strangers quickly count…"2,4,6,8..9 kids?" And we all chime in response, “SO FAR!” Through this journey as an adoptive parent God has been teaching me humility and grace, and that His plans are so much bigger than my momentary comfort. He is working in everyone’s lives. Weather they want Him or not, if they believe or if they disdain. None of us can really escape His involvement. Here are a few unusual ways that God has given us the blessing of strangers and taught us to be open to one type of gift He brings to us through them and one type of lesson He is teaching me.

1. Late one evening I was alone at the grocery store talking with my friend who works there. As she was totaling my order, we were discussing the impending arrival of baby #8 from GA and the financial crunch that her unexpected arrival was creating. I paid for and bagged my cart of groceries and was out in the lot loading the van when a woman approached me and handed me a fist full of $20 bills. She said “I heard you say that money is tight. I was in line behind you. Please take this and use it. God bless you.” And she was gone.

2. One afternoon I had the tribe (8 at that time) out shopping at COSTCO. We filled ourcart, had our usual conversations with lots of strangers who wanted to know how and why we have such an unusual family, and got in line for my reward – two prebaked pizzas from the food court. As I was standing there, an unknown elderly gentleman came over and handed me a $20 bill saying – “I want to buy you all lunch – thank you for taking the children.”

3. Later in the same week I was sitting in a neighbors yard having a snack and a 50 year old African American man who visits the house next door came over and said, “Thank you for doing this. Buy the girls some pretty clothes.” Then he handed me some money and walked away.

Now we all know how unusual it is for people to walk up to strangers in America and GIVE them money. And I admit, it feels really weird when it happens. But the look on their faces and the honest desire of their hearts to encourage me, softens my pride and allows me to accept the blessing of their gift. I don’t know why they do it. Is there a child in their own past they miss? Are they dealing in their hearts over the rightness or wrongness of transracial adoption? Or is the Lord simply opening an opportunity for them to do something out of their usual comfort zone? I can't even begin to guess.  I do know however, that it is not about money. It’s about having a vunerable willingness to interact with those who God puts into our paths - all for His glory.

One comment on “The Unexpected Blessing of Strangers”

  1. Your life is a testimony to others. They see Christ through your words, actions and in your eyes and heart! God will continue to bless you greatly for living your life for Him!


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