Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Day 9: Made With Love

This morning I watched a video posted by some young friends whose newborn baby is an obvious source of pride and joy to them. They live thousands of miles away but we have enjoyed a steady stream of photos, reports, and now video of this cute little boy. (Turnabout's fair play for the way I've exulted in my granddaughter, I guess!) Listening to him giggle on camera reminded me of similar memories of our own son, Nathan, which seem very recent ...

... even though we celebrated our son's 30th birthday last month! Time does indeed fly by.

When I hear the phrase "made with love," our kids is what pops into my mind. But in truth we have as little to do with the making of our children as an Indian dancer has to do with the making of rain.

I was thinking this week about the irony of Jesus being a carpenter. Scripture actually says very little about it. In one place (Mark 6:3) members of the community who recognize Jesus ask, "Isn't this the carpenter?" In another they refer to him as "the carpenter's son."

But, Scripture does talk in much greater detail about the things Jesus made. John 1:3 says:
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
So, I guess if He made every tree that ever existed (including the one that provided the wood He was crucified on), one could indeed say with accuracy He was a pretty prolific carpenter!

Do you ever wonder what Christ was thinking, as He created that tree that He would someday be nailed upon to die?

People I know talk about all the terrible things that we unloving human beings do to one another, then tell me, "I can't see how God could possibly be loving. He is supposedly all-powerful, but look at what He permits."

But when I look at the Cross, I think I can easily turn that question on its head. Jesus made the tree that He would be crucified on, for our sin. In John 15:13 Jesus defined love: "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." That tree surely was "Made with love."

Recently I have become friends with a man in Mityana, Uganda who has decided to create an orphanage in an effort of love to help kids whose parents have perished there, most likely as a result of the terrible AIDS virus. He has taken 20 or so kids into his home and is seeking to provide them with love and a hopeful future. (I am trying to help him by working on building a web and social networking presence for the orphanage and seeking to raise a network of support for these kids.)

You can see their photos and more information at: Ttamu.org.

My friend Boaz says of his effort, "We want children to feel safe and begin filling their hearts with the love of Jesus instead of the other things this world has to offer."

During my brief sojourn on this planet, there really isn't much I can point to that I can say, "I made that ... with love." True love obviously requires sacrifice, and a "laying down" of our own rights and privileges, for the sake of others.

I am working with Boaz to create a sponsorship program for the kids in his orphanage, and hopefully for more to come. The problem of AIDS orphans in Africa is far larger than we can possibly imagine, but you have to start somewhere. We are partnering with a church here in the U.S. that is willing to serve as a conduit for the aid. After looking at the website, please talk with me for more information if you too are willing to invest a little love in these kids' lives.

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