So today I'm going to try and answer the question "Why are you so worked up?" And I'm going to attempt brevity. Wish me luck.
1) It's part of my temperament. I tend to believe things, believe them strongly, and I'm pretty out there with my emotions. In fact recently I took one of our 21 year olds to try to get him psychiatric services. (yeah, we have three -- which, I might point out is much better than 3 13 year olds, but I digress). On the way there he was arguing with me and pushing my buttons. He kept saying, "I don't know why you are so worked up!" (I think he may have forgotten the fact that he had, in last six weeks, stolen our credit card, taken the car without permission and run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, staged a break in of our home compete with calling the police to come, and setting off the church alarm when he fell asleep in his dads office and then talking to the police about domestic violence laws right there, the perfect example of a pastor's son. Those are just 5 of the 31 things I had on my list that his manic episodes had brought to our family. But There goes the brevity. I shouldn't have started talking about that.
Anyway (Good grief Claudia!!) While we were sitting in the parking lot and I was gently reminding him of his misdeeds -- ok, so maybe I was screaming loudly in his face, he says, "I am NOT going into the emergency psychiatry place until you calm down. They're going to think you're crazy." Sigh.
2) I have been intensely involved in church since my conception. Yes, my parents were pastors in a storefront church, and had a tiny apartment in the back, so I love to tell folks that I was conceived in church. But since then I have probably not missed more than 30 Sundays in 53 years. I married a pastor and have loved the journey. love the church and all of it's good points, but I really think that we have missed it. We have failed to be Christ's body in regards to vulnerable children in our country and it greatly pains me.
3) I have been professionally involved in adoption from many different angles. From 2003 to 2012 I worked with the Adopt America Network to find homes for kids in the foster care system. In 2006, I wrote this post and I was equally passionate then. I also have spent years recruiting and then supporting adoptive families. The fact that we as a nation, and particularly we as a church, did not care for these families and children before they got into the system has caused intense heartache and pain for so many good families. I could spend hours writing about how in-tact healthy families are destroyed because they chose to do what they felt called to do -- take care of hard kids. But herein lies the rub: What if the church had been there for those birth families BEFORE they went into foster care. What if they had never entered the pipe in the first place?
4) Finally, I have raised 12 of the kids that I talk about as a category -- kids who were in foster care or an orphanage. I have met some of their birth families. I have seen how being connected to a church could have completely changed the trajectory of MY children's lives. I watch my kids suffer, now as adults, from the things that happened to them. But there are two things that come into play here: What their birth parents did -- and what the church did NOT do.
So I have reasons to be worked up. And my job gives me an opportunity to do something about this. And so I can't stop being worked up and I have to force myself to stop walk away from my desk.
Because out there, right now, a child is being born. And the next 18 years her future will depend on how well we as the church take care of her and her family. And if we fail to do that, it's on us. We can't just say it's on her parents if we sit by and do nothing.
Sometimes I, I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone’s alright, when I know they’re not
This world needs God, but it’s easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on, like nothing's wrong
But I refuse
‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose not to move
But I refuse