A Choosing/Rescuing/Saving/Redeeming/Reclaiming God
Blessing was born in Uganda to a mother with mental illness, who was either unable or unwilling to care for her. The mother left her newborn in a 30-foot-deep pit toilet. When the baby was rescued, she was covered in feces and maggots. But there is a better future ahead for baby Blessing. The police contacted Mercy and social worker Racheal rushed her to the hospital. Blessing is now healthy and thriving in Mercy Village.
Unfortunately, stories of abandoned infants are not uncommon in Uganda. Mercy Childcare Ministry has rescued around 100 abandoned babies over the past few years. We imitate our Father God who rescues and chooses the abandoned ones.
In Ezekiel 16, God describes His chosen city, Jerusalem, as an abandoned infant, “kicking around helplessly in your blood.” In verses 4 and 5 he describes her condition at birth.
As for your birth, on the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water; you were certainly not rubbed with salt, nor wrapped with blankets. No eye took pity on you to do even one of these things for you to spare you; you were thrown out into the open field because you were detested on the day you were born.
The Sovereign Lord
Enter God, self-described in this passage as “the sovereign Lord.” He is not like all the rest, those who showed no pity. He draws near to her and speaks. And He acts.
I passed by you and saw you kicking around helplessly in your blood. I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!” I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!” I made you plentiful like sprouts in a field; you grew tall and came of age so that you could wear jewelry. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, but you were still naked and bare.
Did you notice that the sentence ‘I said to you as you lay there in your blood, “Live!”’ was repeated? Sometimes ancient writers would repeat the same phrase for emphasis: to help the reader pay special attention to what is being said.
The Lord rescues infant Jerusalem and nurtures her so that she grows and develops as a young woman should. He doesn’t stop at being her childhood caretaker. He gives her the greatest provision and protection a woman at the time could be given: marriage.
Then I passed by you and watched you, noticing that you had reached the age for love. I spread my cloak over you and covered your nakedness. I swore a solemn oath to you and entered into a marriage covenant with you, declares the sovereign Lord, and you became mine.
This is the God and Father we reflect in our work to serve children. Through our rescue, we reveal the Rescuer. Through our saving, we show the Savior. Just as God has chosen us, saved us, and redeemed us from darkness, so too we are able to offer this hope to others. We give physical rescue, but in the process, we demonstrate the spiritual rescue of our saving God.
One of the core values of our organization reads: “Children to Love values all persons as equal in the eyes of the Lord and places special importance on the lives of abandoned, orphaned and disabled children.” We follow God’s example of His special care for abandoned children, and we do the same.
The God we follow sees us in our need. He sees us in our helplessness, abandoned by those we thought would care for us, and He draws near. He speaks life to us and nurtures us so that we are able to grow. Perhaps you need to be reminded of the character of this attentive God: The One who sees you and knows you, who speaks to you and grows you. May you sense His presence as you read.
Perhaps you already find yourself content in your Father’s gaze and embrace. You know you have been chosen and you trust that your gracious God will provide all you need to continue to grow healthy and strong. May you extend the attentiveness and rescue of this God to those around you. Just as you have traveled with Racheal to rescue baby Blessing from the pit, may you extend God’s welcome to all those around you.
- Linda Han, CTL Administrative Associate