This morning I sang Beneath this Christmas Moon at church — probably one of the most significant and nerve-wracking offertories I’ll ever do. You can view a rough video recording of this song, as our church posts a live feed of our services to ustream.tv.
Disclaimers: As ustream.tv is a free service, you may be required to watch an (hopefully unobjectionable) advertisement video before the offertory video actually starts. You might also see popup adds on the video while it plays. You should be able to dismiss these by clicking on the [X] in the ad’s upper-right corner. Also, the highlight of the offertory takes place over an hour into the service, so it may take a moment or two to load.
I’ve posted my introductory remarks to the offertory below.
Did you know there are over 132 million orphans in the world today?
Some of you might know that today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Tony Dungy, former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, believes that to be pro-life is to be pro-adoption. This is easy to agree with, but it becomes more interesting when the prospect of adoption comes knocking on your own door.
My wife Rosemary has wanted to adopt since before we were married, but I have never really been open to this path. In recent years, Rosemary’s desire has intensified. God has brought to her mind images of a young Asian girl. He has even given her a name – Sonja Ruth: Sonja meaning “wisdom” and Ruth, after the Biblical heroine, meaning “friend.” During this time, I have remained skeptical and resistant, praying things like “Lord, we already have three great boys,” “God, have you noticed how small our house is?”, “Have you checked our savings account balance lately?” and “Is this really the best time given that Rosemary is in the middle of two highly invasive and disruptive oral surgery procedures?” These have been just some of my objections.
Yet amidst all of my quibbling, God has transformed my heart over the past two months. Through a series of events, he has shown me that He is indeed leading our family to walk the path of adoption in spite of, or maybe even because of, these obstacles. This change of heart runs so deep within me that I have come to feel like our family is not yet complete, that there is an empty seat at our dinner table waiting for our little girl.
Moreover, the Lord seems to be urging us to walk this journey in a very public and vulnerable manner. That’s why I am sharing all of this with you today. God aims to be glorified as we go through this process. We are just beginning now, and it’s scary. We ask for your prayers and support, but we also hope that as you see this journey unfold, some of you might also feel the Holy Spirit prick your hearts and open your minds to the possibility of adoption in your own families. Above all, we want Jesus Christ to receive all of the glory for this endeavor, for it is surely only by His grace and strength that it will come to fruition.
Last month on Christmas Eve, the Lord birthed in me the song I’m going to sing for you. Its text is included on an insert in your bulletin, along with the web address of our new blog, sonjaruth.com, where you can learn more and follow our story if you are interested. This song is a way for me to express to Rosemary my newfound resolution that pursuing adoption is the right path for us, and my commitment to walk it with our family.