Last post about the book that I recommended on Monday. (You have bought a copy, right? Or reserved one from the library? Go do so! I’m for reals.) It’s “Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches” by Russell D. Moore.
This time it was a story of when his two boys left the orphanage on their way back home. He writes:
We nodded our thanks to the orphanage personnel and walked out into the sunlight, to the terror of the two boys.
They’d never seen the sun, and they’d never felt the wind. They had never heard the sound of a car door slamming or felt like they were being carried along a road at 100 miles an hour. I noticed that they were shaking and reaching back to the orphanage in the distance. …
I whispered to Sergei, now Timothy, “That place is a pit! If only you knew what’s waiting for you – a home with a mommy and a daddy who love you, grandparents and great-grandparents and cousins and playmates and McDonald’s Happy Meals!”
But all they knew was the orphanage. It was squalid, but they had no other reference point. It was home. (pg 43)
The trauma of leaving the orphanage was unexpected to me because I knew how much better these boys’ life would soon be. I thought they knew it too. But they had no idea. They couldn’t conceive of anything other than the status quo. My whispering to my boys, “You won’t miss that orphanage” is only a shadow of something I should have known already. (pg 46)
To the boys, leaving that place felt like suffering. A form of torture, maybe. Panic. Even though they had started to bond with their new parents, they were leaving the only home that they had known. It wasn’t too long later, he writes, that they were settled at their new home with the Moores. They got used to wind and cars and sun and not having to hide food. Their old home couldn’t begin to compare to their new home. But they didn’t know that then.
Do I do that? Am I in a place that feels like home, but really is suffering compared to something else? I’m particularly thinking of my eating habits, as unhealthy and undisciplined as they are. If I were to start eating better, it would feel like suffering to me. I’d have to deny myself things that I dearly love today.
But if I ate healthier (the AFTER), I might realize that eating healthy isn’t suffering. It was the BEFORE that was really suffering. I just couldn’t know that until I tasted (ha!) the something better. Just like his boys couldn’t have known that it was the BEFORE that was bad without knowing the AFTER.
Makes me think.