“You should understand that the girl you are adopting is the daughter of a drug addict. The mother was using cocaine all along her pregnancy. Finally, someone reported her to the Child Protection Services. When the baby was born, we immediately took over her care. Today, five years later, the mother is still serving time at the penitentiary for that and other crimes for which she was convicted.”
It was an adoption hearing and the director of the program was discharging her duty to inform the adoptive parents about Lupita’s past. She was a beautiful girl with huge black eyes, and a satin chocolate complexion. Her hair fell in two carefully arranged braids on her shoulders, and she was coloring at a certain distance in the courtroom. The adoptive parents listened attentively. The director continued. “You should know that according to the statistics, beginning in her teen years, the girl may seek out drugs, for she was born with a tendency for cocaine. In fact, she was positive for cocaine at birth. She may also suffer other mental deficiencies and psychological trauma. Knowing all this, do you still want to adopt Lupita?”
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem’s manger, he was not only creating a beautiful story that would be told year after year.
“Lady,” answered the prospective mother. “Don’t you know my own story?” “No,” responded the director. The mother continued, “I’ll make it as short as I can. I’m also a drug addict’s daughter. I was also given away in adoption. I would not be alive today but for the love of my adoptive parents. Their love saved my life. We want to do the same for Lupita.” When she heard her name, the girl came running. She jumped up on her adoptive mother’s lap, hung her arms around her neck, kissed and hugged her until she nestled quietly in her lap. The mother and father had been her foster parents almost since birth and were now legally adopting her. I overheard the program director whisper to herself: “That girl is going to beat all the odds.”
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem’s manger, he was not only creating a beautiful story that would be told year after year. The child Jesus was taking on himself the history of the entire human race. Beginning at Mary’s lap, Jesus’ history would be yours and mine. Due to his love for us, in his flesh he drew us into him. That bitter cup that he would later drink to its dregs contained all the history of humanity. At its worst, with all its hate and wars. Our own personal history was there as well. Our worst and ugliest moments were there. He did not die for our best moments but even more for our darkest secrets, all that we would never want anyone to know about ourselves.
The sufferings of Christ went beyond the pain of the nails in his hands and feet, greater than the insufferable crown of thorns on his head, more than the slow asphyxiation as he hung on the cross. No. He also took our own history and suffered all the agony and pain of our own lives.
What have you been addicted to? How have you been causing pain to yourself? What guilt do you carry in your heart? There’s nothing in your history that Christ did not already carry on the cross for you. That is why he loves and forgives us, because he knows our history, as the parents of the girl in our story knew her story. And the mother loved her because she had herself been rescued by the love of her adoptive parents. Scripture says, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Also, “’He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed’” (1 Peter 2:24). That love was poured out for you and me. Don’t worry, cast away all fear. In Christ, we’ve already beaten all the odds!