We all have struggles along the journey. One of the most known horrific and flesh ripping struggle was that of Christ as He fought for freedom for all of humanity. On a daily basis, each of us encounter struggles. Ones that tear our emotions while others cause us physical weakness and physical pain. Some struggles have been the death of loved ones or the departure from our physical presence, ones we love. Regardless of the struggles that we face, for however painful or slight they may present themselves, produce a response or result. For some, those may come in the form of celebratory victory, while others may be viewed as tormental consequences to weep upon.
The struggle remains and from my experience, it is a struggle that will haunt, follow, and disturb our journey until we arrive at eternity's beginning. I have come to understand that with all of the variables that are injected into the struggle of humanity through its complex webs of interchanging factors, it is not about avoiding the struggle, but learning to accept and leverage the struggle to aid our intent to become the best individuals that we are called to become.
So many of us stare about the struggle as if it were some horrid and hairy tarantula slowing climbing its way up our chest and had swooped in from some dark corner of our inner souls. A wise one, I do believe, would look to see how this struggle can be utilized to aid in the enhancement of our journey toward destiny's great shore.
In the majestic beauty of destiny's great door, we weigh our options for every step of the cobbled pathway leading toward eternity. In reflection of the greatest option ever given to one person and that being of the decision to head to the Cross for the freedom of humanity, Christ was torn and divided.
What a choice. What a pained conflict.
We choose our destiny through the careful navigation of life's steering. The winds are set never, yet the sails always.
I was reflecting on a recent experience where that great choice and pained conflict of decision altered the course of destiny and future for a family. One that still to this very hour still records and replays the conversation in my mind.
It occured on the first day of a recent iHelp Globally Medical mission. A group of health & social service care professionals were seeing clients/patients at the city stadium of Ventanilla. It was a fantastic first day where the students traveling in from various places jumped right in to assist in all aspects of a medical campaign.
An incredible team, of whom I was very honored to be included in the chemistry of relationship building and bonding that always occurs when a team of individuals come together to experience the compassionate outreach of love.
During the first afternoon, the sun had been intense and was finally beginning to deaden its most potent rays. I had the great opportunity of talking to a few clients/patients in the afternoon. During one of the consultations, I met a mother with 6 children. Firstly, that in itself to me is an incredible achievement of dedication that always gains my highest respect. We were talking about the experience of life and we were talking about her eldest child, a 13 year old boy named Moses. I asked how his studies were going. She raved about her son Moses with much respect, admiration, and general kindness. I was impressed with the apparent gentleness that she had with her children.
She leaned in after her son, Moses and two of the younger children had made their way over to the next station in the medical clinic system. She whispered to me,
"I didn't want him to hear because he doesn't know, but Moses, my eldest, is adopted," she smiled. I was grateful she wanted to share that information with me, and so I thanked her for telling me and asked how the process was for her to adopt. She told me the story.
One evening, late, nearly to the hour of locking the outter door with the key and turning off the lights, the mother made her way out to the outer gate to lock it down. As she turned a couple of bolts over in the hole of the metal gate, she leaned her head out through the bars of the gates and saw where the apparent crying of a child was coming from. There was a moto-taxi parked about half of a block up the street, near the orangery lit bare street glow. She thought it was odd as the moto-taxi was not recognizable as one from the neighborhood, nor did she recognize who would have parked a moto-taxi there. She opened the gate, turning the keys back through the bolt and swung the door open and stepped out into the brisk air. Walking slowly toward the moto-taxi, her wonderment turned into horror when she saw blankets with movement of a foot kicking from underneath.
A baby was laying in the back seat of the moto-taxi. She gasped and she strode up to the moto-taxi and grabbed the baby up in her arms. The baby boy, approximately 2-4 months at the time was crying and she looked up to see who the parents were nearby. There was no one. The alleyway was empty and the streets were full of nothing but street lights, poles, and gates leading to the homes of neighbors. Shocked and stricken with panic, the mother fled back to the house with the baby to phone the police. The woman, along with her husband filed a police report and began the notification process in local papers. Over the days following, neighbors, along with the woman and her husband, with baby in arms, posted notices around the city. The police investigated, asking neighbors, friends, and nearby cafes and laundry centers if they knew of anyone that had just had a baby.
Among a city of 700,000 individuals, finding the mother of a baby is challenging, to say the least, nearly impossible.
The days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months. No one came forward to claim the child. The state determined the child an orphan and ward of the state. The parents fought for the rights of the baby, insisting that if a parent or legal guardian would not come forward, they wanted to officially and legally adopt their little baby boy.
A humble couple, with very little money, but hearts so compassionate, believing in the struggle to make their financial resources complete, trusting in a God that advocated for them. They adopted the child, naming him Moses... As Moses grew, so did their family, adding five more precious children of their own to the ranks of their family photographs, totaling the finish at 8. A humble and hard working family, they thrive daily to survive, but with much joy.
As she concluded her story, I was crying, she was crying, and I think there was a calm hush that had pulled in over the stadium. It felt like it was just the two of us and she had recounted some old classic story out of Charles Dicken's children novels. She smiled and patted my hand and said,
"and you know what ? He is the most precious child, his spirit is gentle, always willing to help, ASKING to help, and going above any child responsibilities to assist in the home," she smiled and wiped away the last of her tears, "I am so blessed by God to have Moses brought to us in the back of a moto-taxi..."
As in a great struggle between the experience of life or death in life, this family chose life for the child, Moses. The struggle for this family was based on a choice. They were the promised answer and solution to the choice made by the biological mother of Moses. If we set our sails of our life boat to where we are told by our God, we will encounter the very destiny that He created for us, and we certainly will be the answer of destiny for the choice of someone else within our global family that needs to make a choice. To that choice, we shall be the divine intervention of God's highest and most precious plan.
The interweaving of intertwined connections are founded and originated from the initial thought to the final gleaming light of eternity's bright beginning. We must choose.
The struggle is there all along. How we will respond ?
How did Christ respond to the greatest struggle ever experienced ?
I believe in that historical moment that changed the destiny of all humanity will be our answer.