The first time I saw Henry he was only a little boy. He lived in the small village where our daughter and adopted granddaughter live in a third world country. One day, when the three of us walked up to a restaurant that was located across the street from the village central park, Henry appeared from around the corner of the building and begged for money. I looked down into the most sad looking eyes I had ever seen and very uncomfortably continued to walk into the restaurant. We knew that giving money to this little beggar would not benefit him, but go directly to the person who sent him out to beg. All during our meal little Henry stood at the front window and watched every bite that went into our mouths. Unknown to him a napkin lay beside my granddaughter’s plate which she was diligently filling with all sorts of good things that she thought the little beggar would enjoy. But after we finished eating and while we paid our bill at the checkout, little Henry disappeared from the front window. My granddaughter was terribly disappointed that she hadn’t had the opportunity to share her lunch.
We left the restaurant, walked across the street and got into our little truck. Slowly we drove around the central park, watching the many people resting in the cool shade. Suddenly my granddaughter saw little Henry standing on the steps of a two-story pavilion in the center of the park.
“Stop! There he is,” she shouted excitedly.
My daughter quickly pulled into a parking space and she and I watched with smiles on our faces as the little girl ran lightly down the sidewalk and handed the little boy a small lunch which she had wrapped neatly in a white paper napkin. Then she quickly turned to come back to our truck. When she hopped in and looked back at the pavilion little Henry was standing on the top step waving at her. She waved back and the two waved back and forth until we disappeared down the street.
I had to choke back tears. Henry was a street child and my heart aches for him. There are millions and millions like him all over the world, barefoot, hungry, surviving on drugs and glue instead of hamburgers and good books and the love of families. Our granddaughter had very nearly became one, too. Only God saved her and gave her to my daughter who loves and protects her and has shown her grace. Because she has experienced grace she is able to extend grace to those who are still on the streets. That is what adoption does.
I, too, know what it means to be adopted (spiritually,) for Jesus adopted me into His family exactly thirty years ago. I came to Him broken, faithless, and begging for anything He could give me. When He saw me looking expectantly up at Him, He smiled, winked at me, and invited me into His House, where He pulled out a chair for me and served me lunch. Then He said if I was willing He’d like to adopt me into His Family. Of course, I agreed.
I really shouldn’t be here. I don’t belong here. I should be out on the street, barefoot, hungry, and dependant upon drugs and glue instead of hamburgers and good books and the love of Jesus’ Family. He loves me and protects me and has shown me mercy and grace. Because of the grace He extended to me, I extend the same to you. This is the reason I blog. Won’t you join us at His table?
“Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”
Excerpt from Amazing Grace by John Newton