Category: writing

sacrifice

An intruder lives inside my body. He’s in my very personal space. He pushes on the things in his way and the bigger he gets the more he slows me down. I want my body back. I want it to be all mine again. I don’t want to share anymore.

But even if (when) he leaves, my body will never be mine alone again. For the next year it will be a source of food for him. Rather than carrying him inside of me I’ll hold in my arms. Every single part of me will be given over to the job of protecting, caring for and raising this little boy. I’m ready to have a baby, but I’m not ready to be a mom. It costs me too much.

I will spend my life pouring everything out for him. What I want takes third place now rather than second. My desires and wants come after his. All my time will be given over to him so that he can realize his dreams and I will fulfill his wants rather than my own.

I struggled with this early on. The idea of sacrificing so much for someone who will never know or appreciate it seems ridiculous. He should know how much it costs me. Everything I do will be for him and yet he will grow up, leave home and live in ignorance of what I gave up for him.

But God…He taught me about sacrifice. He showed me the beauty of sacrifice is that the one receiving the sacrifice never fully understands what the giver lays aside for the good of the person. It costs much but the burden of knowing how much it costs rests on only one person’s shoulders so the other can live in freedom. He reminded me that I am not alone in giving up so much of myself for the sake of someone else. Even before Christ’s sacrifice of Himself on the cross Scripture tells us that “although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant” (Philippians 2:6-7). A song by Chris Tomlin expresses it like this: Worthy Uncreated One from heaven to earth come down; You laid aside your royalty to wear the sinner’s crown.

Just as I will never fully know how much it cost my Jesus to set aside His royalty and wrap Himself in flesh, so my son will never know how much it will cost me to be his mother. The very reason for Christ’s sacrifice is so I can live in freedom, never experiencing separation from my God. If I reveal to my son how much loving him costs me it will hinder him and put a burden of guilt on his shoulders. He too must be able to live in freedom from that knowledge.

In light of Christ’s sacrifice everything I give up pales in comparison of what has already been done for me.

homeless in america

“I look like a bum,” she says softly to herself. The feeling comes from her stained sweats and low self-esteem.

Another woman drives by a broken down neighborhood. “Look at all the trash” she complains disgustedly to her daughter. “You would think they would clean up around here.” She refers to the area as a ghetto and trains her daughter to do the same. She worked hard and believes her achievements make her a better person, able to condemn the actions of others. She doesn’t understand that the only difference between herself and the little girl standing in front of the junk-ridden house is the womb that birthed them; one born into poverty, one born into riches.

Still a third woman endearingly tells her husband he looks like a hobo. A woman pushing a cart full of collected cans standing near them waiting for the light to change at the busy intersection has overheard. Her eyes glisten with tears at the words. She studies the well-dressed, warm man on this frostbitten morning. She hears people call her hobo more often than she hears her own name. The couple never notices her presence.

“Go away!” a woman says to a man asking for food. He frightens her because he is a beggar and she doesn’t understand why he won’t work. So out of fear and a sense of superiority she refuses to associate with him.

A caste system doesn’t exist in America. Yet we treat the poor and homeless in our country as well as we treat a litter of unwanted cats. Sometimes the cats fare far better. Yes, there are options, but with people like us that the poor have to impress we make it difficult for them to improve the very lives we condemn. “In the land of the free” we treat them like they don’t exist, quickly lowering our eyes when we see them in our cars waiting for a handout at the stoplight, afraid lest we make eye contact with them. What’s the harm in a smile? And I believe that in the day we stand before Christ and He asks why we didn’t feed or clothe the homeless, it will be a sorry excuse to say, “I was afraid they’d buy alcohol with it.”

This came from the heart of my sister, Amy Jorgensen. I just helped her find some of the words.

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