Dan and I have been talking lately about how much God loves us. We find that a lot of people tend to view God through a very harsh lens. Maybe we have too "grace filled" of a view but I don't personally think that's possible.
I don't know HOW God is going to see that all of humanity is taken care of ... He didn't let me in on that one. But I am POSITIVE He has a plan, one that includes mankind. He says He wishes not one would perish. He is the one that leaves the 99 and goes after the one. He is a God of justice but He is also a God of mercy and those are not mutually exclusive.
If I asked you what percentage of humanity is going to end up in "heaven" versus "hell", you'd eventually give me a percentage. And lately, we've run into a lot of people who think that percentage is very, very small. Some as few as 10%.
I am horrified by that thinking. I know God doesn't need my help protecting His image. But honestly, I can't sit idly by as people say such things about God who defines Himself as LOVE.
But I digress.
As a parent of 6 kids who were all former orphans, I love to speak to churches about the spiritual/physical metaphor of adoption and orphans. One of my all time favorite topics.
We are all orphans (spiritually speaking) and then one day God adopts us. (Scripture is very clear about this and uses this terminology.) At which point we become heirs to the Kingdom of God.
Yesterday I posted the picture of Manny wearing a red curly wig. It prompted me to sing the song "Tomorrow" from the movie Annie. The kids had never seen it so they asked if we could get it.
On my way out of Target today, I noticed it on an end cap for $5 so we watched it as a family today after school.
I could see how the orphans of this movie are like some physical orphans of the world still today. There are literally millions of children who are in need of a forever family. And that strikes to my soul. Some are well cared for. Others are not.
But even more than the literal, I love to see metaphors in things. So I saw the duality of the physical/spiritual orphan. Annie was just one of the girls and one day she was claimed. She was led to the "kingdom" and shown around. She was granted opportunities not available to the rest of the orphans. When she first arrived, they asked what she would like to do first. She said, "The windows and then the doors ..." Immediately, she started talking about works, trying to earn her keep.
And I thought, "Exactly!" We are chosen by God. We're taken in. And we immediately start trying to do "works" to "earn" the grace bestowed upon us.
The whole movie, she was under the impression that her real family was coming back for her some day. So even when Warbucks offered to adopt her, she couldn't fully let go of her past and the ties to it.
Oh boy, do the parallels get any easier than that? How much we hold on to, thinking that our past or something in the world is what we're destined for. And all too often, people find a way to go back into their old ways and not fully embrace the Kingdom of God.
Thankfully, she eventually realized it was all lies and was able to head towards adoption but not before a huge fight. I think that once we do the same thing, we become Kingdom minded and we fully embrace Abba, Father. It's at that point that we stop thinking and acting like orphans and become ADOPTED.
I know of kids who are offered adoption and they cannot fully grasp what is being offered to them. Some refuse to be adopted and would rather live out their lives as orphans. And I see the same thing spiritually. People who are offered the keys to the Kingdom ... offered the full inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven ... and refuse. They would prefer to live out their lives as orphans.
I am still learning what it means to be adopted. So many times I find myself metaphorically sitting on the front porch instead of going fully in. Sometimes I feel grace is tenuous or dependent on my works. (I know with my head this isn't the case ... but something in me ...) And then other times I find myself fully climbed up in Abba's lap.
And just like Annie, we all need to learn how to become stop being orphans and become Sons and Daughters of the King.