ComPASSION shrinks Fear Monsters and Francis Chan made us Laugh out Loud

No news yet on precious Mohale.  As we waaaaiiiit, circumstances recently have me pondering…

Fear.  That has been one of my greatest weaknesses as long as I can remember.
Can anyone relate?  Some are natural risk takers.  Others, like myself, tremble easily and want to stay within the lines of safety.  Yet, at an early age, my parents often took us to places around our planet where we saw unimaginable suffering.

The result was a seed of compassion that began to grow passionately within the lifeless places that fear had left in my heart.

Acrylic by “L.E.” age 11

Compassion competed with my fears.  
(FEAR. I had my first ever panic attack on this journey-  Really, Fear roared loudly in the beginning. Yet, Compassion- from the suffering I’ve seen- gave me strength.)

Perhaps that’s one way His love within us casts fear away?
Perhaps?  I do know that each time we’ve dared to step out in risk, the waves of fear roar loudly.  Yet, the passion for suffering children, coupled with God’s closeness and peace that come in the midst of brokenness and pain, have caused fear to shrink-
or at least fueled endurance in spite of it.

(Even though I am a really BIG CHICKEN)

Self portrait 

Every dream will eventually reach obstacles and require endurance.  In addition, doesn’t it seem true that voices of fear and discouragement roar loudest of all when we are on a precipice?

Every pregnancy is bound to be met with well meaning others who must tell you of the most tragic birthing story they’ve heard of or experienced.
Every adoption is peppered by stories from well meaning (or not) others who have a driving need to tell of horrific tales that are adoption related. (That probably happened to their second cousin’s neighbor’s sister-in-law’s friend’s brother.)
Every risk…selling a home, taking that job, pursuing a passion, giving up a career, purchasing that one way plane ticket, committing to years of education, starting a business, facing an addiction, speaking up when others strongly disagree, planning that trip to another country and culture….stepping out of the comfortable, “safe” boat in any way shape or form will be met with such waves.

Yet, it’s been my experience that when facing our biggest fears, His purposeful passion within my heart truly shrinks the fear monsters.

Treasures found in hard, dark, painful places of loss, grief and brokenness with Him are THE MOST BEAUTIFUL.  (OH how much we would have missed if we’d stayed safe.)

Being brave is not an absence of fear, but moving forward in spite of fear.  True Love required. 

(Baby J is wearing a shirt sold by Rescued and Redeemed)

Recently as I held my treasured son (the brave hero pictured above) who of course is totally worth dying a million, infinity times for, I was approached by a person who did not know me and was implored to inform me that horrible things specifically happen to Christian families (like ours) who adopt children. (My first thought was Is this person actually saying this to me as I hold my son?!  My next thought was:  So, is that considered an excuse to leave children vulnerable?)

This person attempted to add support to their claims with dark scenarios and reference to leaders they respect who teach that often, when Christians adopt (like our family), they are stepping out of God’s protective covering.

Just when you think you’ve heard it all…more leaders who teach their eager followers to place personal first-world safety and comfort above the most vulnerable, exploited and suffering amongst us?  What about the absolute HONOR and gift it is to love another one of God’s beloved children?What about the Bible’s definition of  True religion– active love for the most vulnerable and voiceless ones James 1:27?  What about grace and freedom that comes from being crazy amazing loved by Him?

Why was I surprised at rising discouragement as I quickly ushered our precious, beloved, little treasures away from this person’s unstoppable wave of crashing words while passion within me seemed to force tears to spill from my eyes? Buckets of tears followed once I was alone.  My heart was bolstered by True Love: The cross is not about safety. The cross is about sacrifice. 
In this context, we happened upon a 4 minute You Tube video by Francis Chan that made us all laugh out loud...(perhaps our daughter’s years as a little gymnast caused us to laugh all the more.)  He gives an awesome and funny reminder that life is short anyway….so dare to risk out of True love.
Here’s the link: Francis Chan on the Balance Beam

What purpose motivates you towards risk? What purpose is worth suffering for?  What passion is worth dying for?

Somehow, that kind of love/purpose/passion, destroys fear and discouragement.

That’s vital because our world is filled with suffering.  We are commanded to love others as much as ourselves.  Love is our best weapon against the cruelty and suffering that ravages our world.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out all fear. 
1 John 4:18

Love is action- even if we are afraid. Love has skin in the game. True Love is dangerous by human standards. Are you holding back on pursuing a passion that will in any way help someone- even one?

Treasured neighbors in our world need love with skin on.
Often it’s even me and you who need a fearless love. 

Sidewalk chalk drawing and photo by Ianna, Leora and friends.  Model is our beloved superhero Baby J.

I love to ponder stories of heroes whose passion spurred them on in the face of resistance…what if they’d stayed safe?

 Dietrich BonhoefferMother TeresaEdward JennerSteve JobsKatie DavisLouis Pasteur, Alexander Graham BellThomas EdisonJoan of ArcHarriet TubmanGeorge Mueller, Alexander Fleming, Oskar Schindler… and thousands more- most unknown.

There’s so much to miss out on by listening to voices of fear.  We all die anyway.  Let’s allow His unstoppable compassion motivate us to action.

True LOVE truly does cast out fear.

Let’s replace fear with passion 

Let’s really live!

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