Our Ugandan angel turns three today. I spent a chunk of yesterday reading Kisses from Katie, remembering those swirling red dust roads that carried us to our daughter. I clearly see myself stepping off the plane into the black Kampala night, passing soldiers armed with machine guns, and clutching Brad's arm tight as our driver swerved through potholes and crowded streets to take us to our temporary home.
The adoption agency had asked us, "Are you sure you want to go to Uganda now? We cannot guarantee your safety."
Egypt and Libya were rioting then, and there were rumors that Uganda's presidential elections might also end in violence. Our sleep in Africa was often interrupted by the sounds of men screaming Lugandan into loudspeakers, campaigning from their vehicles. On errands, we noticed endless lines of new civilian soldiers marching, training in case of riots, holding sticks which would soon be replaced with machine guns.
But I was not afraid.
I'm baffled as I think back on that.
How in the world was I less afraid then than I am now? One armed robbery wrinkles the down comforter of my cozy American life, and I'm wrecked?
In the end, Uganda's elections turned out peacefully. But even if they hadn't, Brad and I were coming for our daughter. There is a love so strong that it doesn't back down to fear.
Needtobreathe has an amazing song about this. Read the chorus:
Tell me why I should run for cover/ at the sound of the coming thunder/ when all I hear is the cry of my Lover./ So take your shot. /I won't turn back.And I think I finally understand what this Christian group is saying. The "Lover" is Christ... this is common Biblical imagery. And the point is this: When we love someone fully, and when we know what we can do for them, we will not back down.
We loved Amelia, and no fear was keeping us from Uganda.
And Kisses from Katie is about a girl who loved Jesus, and no fear was keeping her from following His call on her life.
And maybe right now I'm filled with fear for one reason: I'm not living with a profound sense of purpose from the Lover of my soul.
"Perfect love drives out fear." And the only way we can love perfectly is to be transformed by the only Perfectly Lovable One. Do I live to serve Him, so confident of my calling that I can stare death in the face and continue in my joyful work?
There have been seasons in the past when I knew what God was calling me to.
Our sweet birthday girl is the fruit of one of those seasons.
And Amelia reminds me today...
Perhaps, instead of praying for peace, I should pray for passionate love and purpose, in Jesus' name. Peace will be a byproduct. And when thunder rumbles loud, I'll instead only hear the cry of Jesus' call on my life.
Dear God, make us a people who can't back down.
Because of our love for You.
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