Last night five adoptive moms and myself went to the home of a pretty amazing woman. This woman is the mother of 10 children--2 biological and 8 adopted! (I'll call her Mom W) She is wise beyond measure and amazingly transparent. What started out as a hair and skin care class developed into Mom W sharing about her life as an adoptive mom, and ended with us being able to ask question after question about anything. Mom W was great! Six of her kids were home and graciously agreed to join us for a time so that we could even ask them questions (of course, the cake awaiting them afterwards served as a great bribing tool)! We smiled, laughed and even had a few tears throughout the night.
I learned a lot. THICK SKIN. Mom W shared that not everyone will be excited about a white family adopting black children. There will be white people who are not happy with it. There will be black people who are not happy with it. BUT, they will ALL be HAPPY to let us know their opinion...in the middle of the grocery store, while we're eating at a restaurant, as we're shopping Target...whenever and wherever they want. I will need THICK SKIN. I thought a lot about this on the way home and even yet this morning...and I am wrestling with the idea of it.
Thick skinned means that you are not easily offended or hurt by criticism. You are callous, unfeeling and hard hearted.
Hhhmm. Am I thick skinned? Can I be thick skinned? Do I WANT to be thick skinned? I'm not so sure. Granted, I've yet to be in the situation where someone is voicing their opinion, using who knows what kind of language and pointing fingers at my family. It might be that my momma bear instincts will rear up, ready to defend and even attack without warning. But, do I REALLY want to be like that?
As a Christ follower, I know I don't want to be callous, unfeeling or hard hearted to the world. THICK SKINNED. Observing my life might be the only time that someone "sees Christ". How would he respond? Will I reflect him? The Bible calls us to bless those who persecute us (Romans 12:14). In 1 Cor. 4:12-13 Paul says, "...When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly..." Can I do this? Will I be able to die to myself, endure, bless and respond kindly to someone who curses or persecutes my family or I solely because of skin color? Hhhmm. Honestly, I'd better be praying about that one.
What I am sure about....what I am confident in....is that God has called our family to adopt. I do have THICK SKIN and will not be easily offended or hurt by criticism when someone judges my family or I in our obedience to Christ. Being in the will of God is, without question, the safest place to be. It is not always easy, but it is good and it brings a peace far beyond words.