Advocacy, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysMar. 6, 2017

Make a Difference Monday | Get Your Hands Dirty

Life is messy.

We’d all agree on that. And if you don’t, are you breathing?

Even without the weight of someone else’s problems, our own worlds seem heavy at times. But add in another human being and it’s only a matter of time before…BOOM. Explosion of opinions and emotions and drama. I mean, it’s just too much.

It’s convenient to turn away from someone else’s crap because the curse of our culture is the ability to choose comfort.

So most people do. Some by nature. Others by habit. And most without realizing the devastation they are bringing by disengaging.

Then there’s foster care. Dude. You wanna talk about drama? And unraveling lives?

Pull up a chair. And a pitcher of whatever you enjoy drinking.

People are always trying to change things in this system in an attempt to make them better; more efficient. There’s talk of better programming and more funding to bring in bigger minds to solve the avalanche of issues in our cities.

There’s a place for all of this, but none of these will ever be the final solution.

I’ll give you the one-word answer for all of this disarray.

Relationships.

Simple and profound–that’s the answer. That’s how you fix this disastrous system. And it’s a painstaking effort because it’s one. broken. family. at. a. time.

But who’s up for that? And where’s the recognition and glory in it? And who funds it? And who steps up? And what systematic approach do they use? All the questions.

I don’t know the answers, but I’m not waiting for some broken bureaucracy to fix things.

The government is doing what the church should and we all know the government doesn’t do much well. For reals.

Digging deep into someone’s life requires time, intentionality, sacrifice and inconvenience. It calls us to die to ourselves and get our hands dirty.

Like filthy.

Your community is DYING. And you’re more concerned with what others would think or how uncomfortable you’d be if you risked something–everything–to speak into the life of a hot mess mama that can’t keep her stuff together long enough to meet the needs of her kids.

Kids from hard places–all foster kids–connect us with torn up lives that are ripped apart and in need of mending. That’s why we open our homes and our souls to these little people. Eventually, we are face to face at a visitation or standing side by side in court with a mom or dad or grandparent or cousin that needs to know about grace. And we have a single moment to put our money where our mouth is and walk awkwardly into the yuck.

We can keep our hands pretty and clean and soft.

Or we can engage in the muck and mire and show our calloused palms, thickened with wearing the burdens of pain-pierced hearts as badges of glory–not ours, but HIS.

Get your hands dirty, church. That’s how lives are changed.

Kristy Sutton

Kristy and Zach are biological parents to four beautiful kiddos. They have called nineteen others their own since starting their journey as a foster family in the summer of 2012. They say yes to the hard and crazy as they follow Jesus on this journey of surrender and obedience. Kristy loves coffee, good conversation, comfy clothes and Anne of Green Gables. She is assertive and loves change as she learns to thrive in the chaos. Follow Kristy on her personal blog, This Hard Calling.

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