O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.
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Deuteronomy 34:1-Joshua 2:24
It wasn’t until our seventh adoption attempt failed (six more would follow) that I had any inkling of the emotions behind this verse.
All the failures had been hard, but this was the hardest. Because in the ten minutes we’d stood in the hospital nursery holding the boy we would name Cameron, we had the same eye connection I’d had with Zac when we first held him. I’ve heard a hundred times that babies can’t see well enough to focus on anything when they are this fresh, but I know what I saw. And in the locking of our eyes, he became mine.
So when the phone rang in the nursery, and the nurse who answered turned after a minute and took the baby from me—because his young mother decided she wanted him too—I was broken.
The days that followed were full of pain and fear. It hurt that I could still feel his little form in my arms, and I feared he was cold, and needing me. Your mind slips a little when you’re in the grip of this kind of loss.
I would have given anything for ten more minutes. I would have tucked him in close, and whispered everything I couldn’t say in that other room, and caressed his tiny head.
It was the fact that he was living, and only 40 minutes north of me, that made my loss so hard to bear. Because he was out there, and I couldn’t hold him. I couldn’t just burst through the door and snatch him up.
So when I read those words of longing in Luke, I know the pain in the heart of the Lord. His children are out there—living—and ignorant of His love. He could force them under His wing; but brute force is not in His nature. So He waits, and watches, and longs.
Oh, that men would turn to Jesus, and find their rightful home.