Special Note:
Melissa's post could not have dropped into my INBOX at a more God-timed moment. Protests about the mounting violence against Asian Americans are now gaining traction after a brutal murder spree. Tension has grown over the spread of "the virus" because of raucous densely packed crowds in southern U.S. beach towns and the blatant disregard for distance and any semblance of self-responsibility. Where do we find sense in it all? From this precious mom whom I proudly call my niece. Some posts are good to read. Others are essential. I believe this one is an absolutely vital read for Kingdom people.

Lakelyn doesn't fully understand that Megan isn't just like her.

Of course "adoption" and "Down Syndrome" are not new words to her, but I don't think her little mind has fully grasped what they really mean. All Lakelyn knows is that her best friend loves to play dress-up and dolls, and sometimes speaks a little more slowly than she does.

Everyone has a story. Some stories might be laced with anger and years of people taking advantage of them. People are hurting.

Maybe your race is a sore subject and people view you through narrowed eyes, assuming you have ill intentions. But you don't. They have no clue how MUCH you love their people, how one of your best childhood friends looked just like them. Perhaps their childhood hero was yours, too. Maybe your most inspirational teacher was born in their country.

Everyone has a story. We don't know someone's story, however, unless we take the time to lovingly listen as she or he tells it.

Adoption can be a beautiful thing, but it can be the result of deep brokenness — of a life suddenly torn from its own place, sometimes spending months or years in an orphanage or foster care. Many times the abandonment and rejection become woven into a child's DNA.

Going through Megan's box of memoirs from China.

All of our experiences in life are so real, and it's extremely difficult to understand the person next to us when both of us feel defensive. Protective. Sharp.

I think one of the underlying sinister elements of this whole virus is the way we were programmed to view people as the enemy. The lady in the grocery store aisle ducks her head and hurries past muttering angrily when my cart came a wee bit too close to hers. People yelling mask orders across crowds of people, private information, and numbers screamed across a long pharmacy line.

People peer suspiciously over masks at each other: you and I are now the threat.

Far more damaging than a physical virus has been the suspicion of people around us.
Maybe you have the germ.
Or maybe because your skin is a different color than mine you hate me.
Maybe you think I'm indifferent because I don't have the same bumper sticker or hashtag you do.
What about those who get the vaccine, or those who don't. Must they be enemies? Just because people don't agree or see eye to eye on a subject, must they draw swords?

Sharp. So many jagged edges these days. We all need to spend days in a rock tumbler, thrown and tossed against other hard objects till our broken edges are softened and our hearts are reawakened. Till the dead flesh has been deeply pruned away so love can grow again.

Megan's beautiful chocolate eyes have light in them now. She croons over her baby dolls like a good mother should, even though we don't know if she was ever crooned over as a child. Megan has absolutely blossomed under the nurture and love of her new family. She belongs.

Love changes people.

Be a part of the community of grace.

Labels. Let's do away with them.
Sharp edges and prejudices, let's toss them in the rock tumbler and let the grace and the many forgivenesses given to us by Jesus wear them down.

Christ went to the cross and died for us, His arms stretched wide in love for all humankind. His arms were open, in a posture of deep vulnerability, and He knew the price.

Love costs all.
It also covers all.
We have all sinned and fallen short. We all need forgiveness from God, and from each other.

Start a movement of grace.
Assume the best in people.
Believe in their story, in the calling God has on their life.
Join me in this community at the foot of the cross, where all are needy, and all are forgiven.

Be a part of the community of grace.
Let your love be known to all people.
Let love lead the way.

Author's Note:
Written and shared with permission of Megan's mommy.