The Finding Place
by: Claudia Porter
I shuddered as we drove through crowded streets in southern China. It wasn't the blare of honking horns or the fear that the sea of vehicles, bicyclists and water buffalo carts might suddenly collide. It was anticipating our emotional and disturbing destination.
Today we were visiting the place where our Chinese daughter was found. We had spent the morning at her orphanage inside her first multi-cribbed "bedroom" cuddling over a dozen little babies who just recently joined the host of abandoned ones there. That was intense enough. But how would I react to this next looming scene of her heartbreaking beginning in life? And more disconcerting, how would she react?
An event which we had only imagined and preferred to deny was about to come into full-color focus. We knew that our Hannah was discovered when she was just a few days old, on a public street corner just outside a government building. We "knew" this, but now we were almost there to see it with our own eyes. "God, help me, and help Hannah to see this sight through Your eyes," I begged.
"That's the corner!" our interpreter declared, pointing across the street from where we parked our van. The grisly reality of a fragile infant, my beloved Hannah, lying all alone on the cold, uncaring, gray cement projected before my eyes. Grief began to engulf me when, instantly, another stronger image overlaid the picture before me. In this image superimposing the physical one, I could see Jesus right there with baby Hannah, stroking her tenderly and moving on a passerby to notice her, pick her up and carry her twenty feet into the safety of the government building. From there she would be transported to an orphanage to be cared for until a year later when we would arrive and take her home. A strange flood of unexpected joy washed over me. Instead of seeing this infamous corner as "the leaving place," I saw it as "the finding place," a brief little bus stop on Hannah's way home.
"Hannah, this is your finding place!" I exclaimed, as we stepped up onto the curb. Jesus was right here with you, protecting you and guiding your life," I continued as we embraced tightly. "He knew your need for a family and chose you to be a part of ours, forever. We are SO grateful for that." My husband, Bruce, and Hannah's older sister, Naomi, joined in the hug as we prayed a prayer of heartfelt thanksgiving. As we looked up, through the overhanging cherry-blossomed tree, we glimpsed the orphanage director who stood across the street, wiping away the tears that ran down both cheeks. For her it was a rare moment as well, to witness a happy ending to one of many thousands of stories yet to have such endings.
Later, I realized that we all have our "finding place." Lost and separated from our gracious, heavenly Father, He planned, paid the price for and executed our adoption rescue through the shed blood of His Son. Now we, who were lost, have been found in Christ. We have a home and belong to His family forever.
Long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (He took great pleasure in planning this.) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of His lavish gift-giving by the hand of His beloved Son. (Ephesians 1:3-5, The Message)
Claudia Porter, Morrison, Colorado, USA, has vast ministry experience, including co-pastoring a church with her husband and leading worship. She is an international teacher and conference speaker; she co-founded an international women's ministry and was a Christian school principal and high school counselor. As a professional motivational speaker and inspirational author whose message lifts, encourages
and equips people for joyous living, Claudia's seasoned wisdom and wit earn her the title of "Master Encourager."
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