Family. The word alone can bring various emotions from different individuals. For some, it brings about a rush of unwanted memories. The hurt caused by betrayal or abuse. Others recall a sense of loneliness and fear. Still others experience the peace and comfort like that of a warm, soft blanket wrapped around them on a cold night. Yet none of us can escape the truth that we are connected to a family whether by birth or by choice.
Although God's original plan was for families to operate in an atmosphere of love and joy, too often man's fallen nature destroys that plan. So what happens when someone around us feels the rejection or abandonment from their earthly family? God has already provided that answer. He showed His love by giving us the body of Christ as family. Although they still are not perfect, when they show the love of Christ, they created the loving atmoshpere of FAMILY.
The main motto of our ministry to Haiti is to "end the orphan cycle through family." Our aim is for orphans in Haiti to find homes and not feel labeled 'orphan' but known as family. I love the example lived out daily through Banner, our child who has Cerebral Palsy. We rescued Banner from a ditch. Banner was 4 years old when his dad left him there to die because of his CP. Doctors told us he would never walk. Yet placing him in our kids' home, he has experienced the love of a family. Although his walker is not far from him at all times, a year ago Banner started walking by himself. This January, Banner went to school for the first time. Why? Love of his God given through family saw that he was cared for and believed in.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor 13:13
God's plan is for His word to be taught within the family unit. It's for parents to create an environment where His love will be felt within the home. And He desires that same model to be shown within the body of Christ - His family. It is a legacy Christ walked before us and one that He desires us to walk in - to relfect those godly character traits. That type of family love can bring hope and healing to a hurting world.
Today, let's choose to live a life of love and leave a legacy for those around us. After all, we never know when there might be a Banner waiting to walk because we chose to love.