When I carried her into ER the first time, with that brave, broken half heart of hers, the doctor asked me point blank:
How did she get into this country?
I keep it brief, to the point:
“Love got her here.”
And I don’t mean what he thinks I mean.
Yeah, I don’t tell the doctor about that 10,000 KM flight from Beijing across the top of the world.
That there was a letter of approval from Immigration and the Ministry of Child and Family Services, there was nearly a year of relentlessly pounding paperwork and a million brave people in agencies and departments who locked arms to make a bridge from us to her — because none of that is the long and short of it, really.
Love got her here.
Love got all of us here.
And yeah, you bet, folks can yell across aisles and Facebook streams, at the other and the different and the loudly opinionated with an opinion far different than ours, but somewhere along the line, we’re all the same kind of different with the same kind of story:
Love made us all and love is what got us all here.
Which is another way of saying: Sacrifice got us all here.
Someone sacrificed something, and someone, to get us all here in this country.
Someone loved something more than themselves and sacrificed safety and ease and comfort and climbing higher up some flimsy ladder, so you could get to live in this country.
Someone sacrificed shavings off their own heart to get you into this relationship, this marriage, this community, this place right now.
And I hold our broken and brave baby right there at my shoulder, her hands clutching strands of my hair, her burying her head deeper into my neck, and I look around at a room of interns and doctors and surgeons and nurses with names like Cheruvadi and Maricor and DipChand and we’re a nation of Sacrificers.
A nation of Givers and Gifters and Sacrificers and Reachers, people who give when it costs and step up to lay it all down and choose to take less to give more.
People who know: The foundation of anything worth anything is always sacrifice.
Because the real Truth tellers and Freedom Dwellers believe that when things are crumbling, when foundations are giving away, when relationships and hopes and dreams and countries and our world feels like it’s falling apart —- there is only one shape the pieces of our brokenness can take to know wholeness —- and that is the shape of the Cross.
If your healing doesn’t look like a sacrificial cross — it isn’t healing and it won’t heal your soul. If your country, your relationships, your choices don’t look like a sacrificial Cross — you will end up dying in a thousand ways that never even crossed your mind.
You fit into the abundant life, the life you ultimately want — when you live shaped like a Cross. Cruciform. Sacrificing.
And you can say all you want about love and sacrifice and choosing a Truth-telling life — but your truth about love, it ain’t the whole truth if it doesn’t look like the sacrifice of the Cross.The only form real happiness can ever take is cruciform.
The only way to break free into the abundant life — is to live broken and given. Because life’s not about choosing a lifestyle — but a way to serve.
In the middle of the night — she cries for me from her crib — and from our bed, I reach for her. And our hands meet — and she laces her fingers tight through mine… And that’s all she needs.
What dark places and hard times need us all to do is reach out and hold on.
She pulls my hand up to her face, then cups my face in her hands… She lies there cupping my face between her hands, slow sleep breaths warming my face. I kiss her forehead the gentlest.
Love got us all here.
Sacrifice got us all here.
You have got to sacrifice something for someone — or you will have nothing and no one. Because without sacrifice — we have nothing.
And there are 7 things that a country, relationship, or life, cannot have:
Power without principle.
Money without work.
Work without meaning.
Comfort without conscience.
Leading without character.
Love without sacrifice.
Ways without Christ.
It’s not necessary to feel great for a country, a relationship, a life, to be great — it’s only necessary to greatly sacrifice.
The doctor ends up saying her broken heart needs surgery soon, that she needs deep healing.
And I nod — healing. There’s a way, for all of us. A way through brokenness…
I listen to it in the dark, her heart, one brave, sacrifice beat after another — steady and sure of the healing coming.
[Coming this week: Part 2 & a Kinda Big Announcement & a dare… to something better, something healing]