When No One Is Looking

I’ve read this before but my friend, Todd Waller, recently posted this on his blog.   You can read it in it’s entirety at Todd Waller.

The sentence that stood out for me was this:

“the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

What is that talking about?   A couple of things……

Many of the really great, extremely awesome things that really matter in life are done when no one is watching, when no one is cheering, when no one is standing and applauding.

But it’s like building a cathedral.  It’s something that’s bigger than you, it’s something that you probably won’t see the end result of.

Whether that’s investing in the lives of your children or in the life of an orphan or sponsoring a child or starting a business or mentoring someone.   Whether it is praying for someone or a simple act of kindness, we never know the impact that we’re going to have on others.

So, what kind of cathedral are you building?    What are you investing in that is bigger than you, bigger than your life?


February 29, 2004

I’ll never forget that Sunday morning. We were getting ready for church and the phone rang.

The phone never rings on Sunday mornings with good news.

It was my mom, “Did you watch the news this morning?”

No, Mom, we don’t usually watch TV before church.” “Turn it to CNN, it sounds like the President of Haiti got kicked out and is fleeing the country!”

So we turned on the TV and watched as they replayed the video of Aristide’s plane taking off. And we wondered what it would all mean. And then we went to church and prayed, prayed for Dixie, prayed for her staff, prayed for our kids.

And then we went home and spent the rest of the day glued to the internet trying to figure out more. We got a number of e-mails from Dixie over the course of the day assuring us that all was well up past Petionville where they were and that everyone was safe.

We also got a couple of e-mails from Dixie that didn’t make us feel very good……

We can hear gunshots from down the mountain.”

Our staff that made it to work had to step over dead bodies on their way here.”

And the one that really freaked us out – “They are saying that the mob is heading up the mountain!” (Up towards where my children were!)

To say that it was a very difficult day for all involved would be an understatement.

Thankfully, none of the staff or children at our orphanage were injured or worse.

It’s in God and Other’s Hands

There are a couple of benefits, I believe, to getting your referral early in the process rather than the way some countries do it where you wait until very close to time to travel. Let me spell them out for you.

Focused prayer – everyone I know who has adopted has prayed fervently for their child(ren) while the process was inching forward. However, I believe that when you can pray for an individual child and their specific needs, it helps. It encourages prayer, it makes the prayer more specific and it has the opportunity to more directly address the needs of the child while they wait.

Making it real – for not only the adoptive family but also for their friends and family, it helps to make the adoption seem more real. When you have a face and a name to go with an “idea” it helps make it more real and therefore helps people accept it, understand it and want to learn more about what it really means.

The other thing that the referral means is that you are entering “The Waiting Time.” When you are preparing your dossier, there’s a lot of stuff you can “do.” You can feel productive.

But now it’s all in other people’s hands. There’s nothing you can do except pray.

And that’s hard.