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  • Writer's pictureShannon Van Roekel

Home Safe

What does it mean to be adopted?

Anne of Green Gables comes to my mind. The girl with the freckles and long braids and crazy imagination. And she led Matthew and Marilla a merry chase, didn’t she? There was the time she got Diana drunk, or when she dyed her hair green (all by accident, of course), not to mention her friend, Katie, in the glass, whom she talked out loud to.

Today if Marilla were to seek psychiatric or medical help for her hard-to-manage girl, the doctor would likely give that good spinster some nice drug to feed our Anne every day, in order to improve her brain synapse connections. They would espouse, probably correctly, things like “Attachment Disorder”, “Attention Deficit Disorder”, and possibly “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” (who knows what her folks were about before they got sick with typhoid fever and died).

In spite of having no Vetiver essential oil, Ritalin, or Adderall, Marilla and Matthew did an amazing thing for Anne. They made her family. They loved her. What they gave Anne was structure and a home to hang her be-wreathed hat in. They gave her themselves.

Now, we know Anne of Green Gables is a work of fiction. A mere whimsy. Yet, in literature, it is a classic and still moves people’s hearts. As it should. Because each one of us, stunted in sin, and dysfunctional behaviour, are broken and wearing puke chintz. Each one of us is clutching our carpet bag, wondering ‘Where is Love?’ Not boyfriend/girlfriend love. But the REAL LOVE that we know we are made for, that we search for our whole lives, and sometimes find.

Real love is why we are here. Real love is the only thing that can work the miracle (you saw Princess Bride, yes?) of life instead of death. Real love is worth living for and makes life, well, alive!

But if you are searching for this miracle in people, please give up. You are bound for disappointment. People will fail, and when they do, please forgive them. You are people too.

True Love is not a destination. He is our Father. The perfect adoptive parent who is always patient, always loving, always kind, and full of mercy to us every morning. We are invited into His family, through the door of great sacrifice. Father God gave away what was most precious to Him in order to have the opportunity to make us His own. Yes, Jesus, God’s beloved son, shed His blood for our sins (all the stuff we do that makes us weary and thirsty and miserable). You know. That stuff. Sin encompasses everything we do that is selfish, arrogant, unloving, and increases the gulf between us and our pure and holy God. A just God, who cannot let sin go unpunished, but, to save us who could not save ourselves (as a real father should), placed Jesus on a cross to die and take all His wrath and judgement against our sins for all of us. All humanity. Once this terrible act was finished, leaving Jesus mauled, torn, and absent from His Father’s presence, He sighed, “It is finished.” The thing He had come to earth to achieve was done. Mankind was finally free from sin’s curse. The serpent hissed, retreating from that bloody crucifix, the sound of chains falling from unfettered souls ringing loud in his ears. Such a bitter defeat was his, for the Sonrise from on High could not stay dead. Love had overwhelmed the grave. Our Lord Jesus Christ defeated death for all of us in His triumphant resurrection. Death’s sting and victory is done. For all time. In Jesus, alone. Christ had swung wide the front door to His House and hung a WELCOME ALL sign.

That’s the door to my family’s House. The one I’ve been adopted into, and after my earthly body is finished, I will abide in forever. My eternal destination is fixed.

On this earth, we will live with many of the consequences of sins, ours and those around us. But hear me, even this is modified and easier to bear because of the presence of Christ’s Spirit Who comes to dwell in us when we believe. The Holy Spirit is our down payment from God for eternal life with Him.

I know, right? God’s presence with me every day? His Spirit to lead and guide and comfort?


What joy is this?

I owe Him everything, yet pay nothing, except my life homage. Small price, that only makes me rich in the paltry payment thereof. And the riches God gives for this fealty increases with daily exponential interest. It’s like the flow of water that starts as an insignificant trickle high up on the mountain but ends up becoming a roaring, mighty ocean of depth and power. That is God’s love. It cannot but spring up and out of you when you have His great uncontainable Spirit.

Jesus, our Saviour and Brother, is praying for you (Romans 8:34). It’s time to come Home to Him. To His place of dew in the morning and shade from the heat, love between enemies, and wine and honey. It’s time to get home safe.

When I was little, we used to play kick the can. Playing in the dark was the best. Hiding in your spot, you watched nervously through a peephole as the person who was “it” searched for his victims. When you knew they were far enough away from the “can” and you had a good chance, you ran like stink, kicked that can, and, if you got there before being tagged, you screamed out with all your might, “HOME SAFE!” Then, if you were anything like me, you danced around in triumph, laughing at the “it” person, and cheering on the others still hiding. Best Game Ever.

But what if it wasn’t just a game?

Your Father has been calling you. He has opened your ears to hear His words. Listen to them. Run to Him. Only in Him will you ever be Home Safe.

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