I realize I wasn’t asked, but I can't help wondering if there wasn’t a better way... A baby? A manger? During the census? God has all things, all power and every moment at His fingertips, and subtle is the direction He chooses?
Fire raining from heaven…..loud explosions…..shock and awe seems to me to be a better way to convince the world they are meeting their redeemer. God’s special effects potential is unlimited. The story could have been so very different. He could have entered the world in any way, and this was His choice. It must mean something. He must be making a statement.
There must be something I am supposed to learn from this.
After a deep breath, I realize this tactic is just like God. It is just like Him to love His people without demands, just like Him to pursue us without expectation, just like Him to woo us rather than inject fear into our lives. In part, I believe the Christmas story is true because no one in his or her right mind would have strategized that plot line. Only God could communicate with a small group of people during a hectic time with very little press and 2,000 plus years later still be actively running the greatest revolution in history. Even God’s subtlety is more powerful than anything we have seen in history!
Turns out, as I reflect on the Christmas story, I am very thankful for the way God presents His love to us in His Son – for the quiet way God came to earth as a baby. We trust and follow His example at Amarillo Children’s Home. Our human desire is to jump in the middle of heartbroken kids lives and fix them. We want so badly to – quickly and urgently – make them not hurt anymore. But over 94 years of care has taught us that causing generational change is not an overnight project – it is a long-term commitment to kids. We have instead learned to slowly earn trust, to respond to each small opportunity presented and to show love unconditionally.
I am reminded of Wendy's and her 16th birthday. Wendy’s past had communicated to her that she was not valuable. Her heart had not been protected well or treasured by the adults in her life. When she came to ACH she was timid and guarded until a subtle act of love began to change everything. The entire campus was at family camp, and it happened to be Wendy’s birthday. She would never have asked for or drawn attention to herself but her housemother decided she needed a cake even if we were at camp. Her housemom called the nearest town and had a red and white cake made because red is Wendy's favorite color. The cake simply said, "Happy Birthday Wendy!" That day at camp, every time we were all together we sang happy birthday to Wendy (probably 8 times altogether). Then, at dinner, she was presented with the cake that had her name printed in her favorite color. This was a turning point for Wendy. You see, no one had ever given her a cake on her birthday. She had never had someone focus on her and communicate to her she is valuable. The simple act of presenting her with a cake began a long process of healing and change in Wendy’s life – a process bearing fruit in her life today. A cake sounds subtle... small... but it wasn't. It was an extravagant communication of value and love – much like the birth of a baby 2,000 years ago.
As we follow in God's pattern of love, we gradually win hearts over time. This allows us to accomplish our mission of restoring identity, so our kids will understand their great value and become a blessing to others. It is a long-term goal with long-term generational impact.
I am so thankful we have people like you who recognize this great challenge and support it. Your understanding of our great mission and your willingness to sacrificially sustain it is vital to the success we are experiencing. We are thankful for a community of people committed to the long haul of generational change in the lives of kids – we are thankful for you! Our community is better off because of you. Thank you for being a part of the “story of Amarillo Children’s Home”. Merry Christmas!
Thanks for loving kids,
President Amarillo Children’s Home