Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Broken Flower

Freeimages.com. Bethany Carlson

Eighteen-month-old Mia*tottered through the lush grass at a nearby park. In one chubby fist she held the long stem of a dandelion; in the other, the flower head. She stopped in front of me, pouting, as I stretched out on the lawn. Tiny arms extended, face cropped by adorable dark curls, she urged me to fix it. Fix the broken flower. 

I swallowed hard. How I wanted to oblige her. But no amount of finagling would fuse stem and flower. 

At last, she toddled away, seeking another adventure in what to her must’ve seemed like a massive yard. 

My heart ached as I studied the broken flower. Mia was one of those broken flowers taken in as an abused foster baby at three months old by my daughter and family. 

Now 17 months later, she thrives. Happy, content as part of our family. The only family she really knows.

While my daughter and family want to adopt her, the judge may decide otherwise on July 19. Even though social service workers will recommend she stay with her foster family, the court may decide she return to her unwed teen mom. This is a very real possibility for which we are preparing ourselves.

Yet we pray that God, our heavenly Father, will do what is best for little Mia.

Just as He has done and will do for all His broken flowers who reach out to Him for healing and wholeness. 

We are each created in His image, fashioned to enjoy a forever home with Him.

Yet sin within and without has broken our connection with the Creator. 

In His amazing grace, He’s provided the way for us to become a new creation in Him, through the work of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:20-24). Isaiah, chapter 53 expresses His deep love for us in such compelling terms. He carried our infirmities, our sorrows, our sin, our suffering, and “by His wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5d). 

Stephen Seamands, pastor, seminary prof, and author, develops this theme in his book, Wounds That Heal: Bringing Our Hurts to the Cross. The back cover copy spells out the contents.

Available on Amazon
"By his wounds we are healed"--Isaiah 53:5. We are wounded people. In this fallen world, people are hurt and exploited. Children are abused. Marriages are broken. Tragedies of all kinds afflict us and the ones we love. Woundedness, it seems, is simply a fact of life. But we are not alone in our suffering. Despite our emotional, psychological and physical injuries, God has not abandoned us. God is not distant or aloof. On the contrary, through the ministry of Jesus, God enters our painful situations to bring healing and redemption. Balancing sound biblical exposition with sensitive pastoral care, Stephen Seamands examines the profound implications of Jesus' crucifixion for our healing and restoration. Because Jesus experienced abuse, shame and rejection, he understands the hurts we experience today. And his response to pain and suffering gives us hope that we too can experience forgiveness and new life. Filled with real-life stories of people’s brokenness and healing, Wounds That Heal offers comfort for our wounded souls. Ultimately, we take heart that God not only understands our pain but has done something about it. Encounter here the promise that the wounds of Jesus are wounds that heal. 

As I pray that little Mia, no matter what the outcome of the court hearing on July 19, will find her brokenness restored through Christ and her ultimate home with Abba Father, I pray, too, that each of us will do the same. 

We are broken flowers, but God in His amazing love and grace has provided the way to healing and wholeness through Jesus Christ, our connection to our forever Father. 

(*Name changed to protect privacy).

Eileen Rife authored Masquerade, a novel about redemption for a post-abortive woman and a foster mom. 
Available as an ebook on Amazon

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