“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But...the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
― Martin Luther King Jr.
I stumbled upon the above quote in October of last year. As I read it, I was convicted about my selfish attitude toward foster care. Before our home was officially open for foster care, I would often struggle with thoughts of this nature: Will my biological children be neglected because of my foster child? Will I be able to effectively homeschool our children while caring for a foster child? Is it really worth risking the peace in our home by bringing in a child from a less than ideal situation? Do I really want to take care of someone else's child for who knows how long?
The Lord used the above quote to remind me that foster care is not about me and my desires. Foster care is ultimately about glorifying God with my life. I have this one precious life and I don't want to waste it. I want to be a conduit of God's overflowing, miracle working, heart changing grace. Foster care is about showing the love of Christ to children who need a home. Instead of asking, "What will happen to me if I become a foster parent?" I began asking, "What will happen to these precious little ones that we could have in our home if I don't welcome them with open arms?"
Several days ago, the kids and I took JJ (our foster son) to the DHS office for a family visit. I had all four kiddos with me. The twins and Gramm were clustered around me and I was holding the baby on my hip. There were about 10 people in the lobby of the office. My three biological children and I were the only white people in the lobby. I didn't even take note of this until I heard an African American man sitting about 3 feet behind me making racist comments about "white people". I can be a little clueless at times and this was one of those moments. It wasn't until we left the room that I began wondering if those comments were directed at me. I am thankful for the distraction of my children. If they had not all been with me, I wonder if I would have responded.
I have reflected on this situation quite a bit. I was honestly not offended by this man's unkindness because I know his words are not true. I am not defined by the color of my skin. But, I also realized that it's easy for me to deflect these comments because this was the first time in my thirty-one years of life to experience racism first-hand. I cannot imagine how very different my life would be if I had to face prejudice or racism on a regular basis. I am thankful that I have been shielded from this type of treatment. I have had to ask myself if I judge others based on appearances. I know that I have been guilty of this at times.
I pray that God will work in my heart to teach my children to be open and loving toward all types of people. My kiddos will learn this way of living if they see it in me. Lord, please make me more like You. Give me Your eyes to see those around me.