Almost four months ago now, we received our first foster child. That night, we were awakened by a phone call around midnight and were asked if we'd be willing to accept her into our family for a time.
After some quick prayer and even quicker conversation, we agreed to do it. Less than an hour later, this tired little girl was escorted to our house by 3 people from Child Protective Services.
All this talk of her leaving, though, has made me do some thinking about her time here with us. Crazy enough, after thinking through much, I've come up with one regret that I have about this whole process with her:
We should not have washed the clothes she came to us in.
The night we got her, she arrived dirty. Her clothes were too small, stained with old food, and reeked of smoke. It was a beautiful picture of what we ALL offer in and of ourselves. We bring nothing good to the table.
With our next child, I'd love to keep clothes like that, put them in a ziploc bag, and use them for a huge lesson later in life.
Now with our current foster daughter, she is leaving far too early for her to understand the significance. But for future kids that we might foster, or even adopt, I'd love to keep this in mind.
This is yet another reason why I love fostering and adopting. The gospel becomes clearer and clearer: We have nothing good to offer God. This is all of us. Our clothes are dirty, torn, ugly, and smelly. God opens the door and invites us in. He comes to each of us, takes our nasty clothes, and offers us clean ones in their place. We come to him worthless, and we leave unworthy.
In a time when many try to work hard to be accepted by Him, it is a visual picture of His grace, mercy, and love. We bring nothing. He gives everything. This is one lesson I hope to not easily forget.
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About Kevin East
Kevin East is the Executive Director of Family Matters. He and his wife Stephanie have five unbelievable kids, two of which they most recently adopted. If Kevin isn't busy with work or family, you'll probably find him in the woods near his house with a power tool. He writes at his blog, "Following to Lead". Connect with him on Twitter at @kevinteast.
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