Devotional thoughts on Romans 5:1-11
By Mike Berry
Many years ago I attended a Christmas musical at my in-laws’ church. I was excited to go for one simple reason—it was Christmas. I love Christmas. As my family will testify (with rolling eyes and grunts)—I have to be told no to getting Christmas decorations out on November 1. They make me wait until Thanksgiving (at least).
So I happily attended this musical because of the sweet holiday melodies I would hear. But it was more than just a choir in a church. It was more than just Christmas lights and decorations. It was about stories. They actually shared real-life stories of people’s redemption. I cried throughout. Nothing gets me more than stories of death to life, hopeless to hopeful, lost-ness to grace!
The last story they told was one I will never forget. A young Hispanic woman sheepishly stepped toward the microphone placed at center stage. She told the story of being abused, neglected, even raped. She wound up pregnant, broken, and alone. Her family told her to give up the baby. “Place him in a group home,” they urged. “Then you could get on with your life.”
But then she met a kind man who took care of her, helped her get on her feet, and even spent time with her son, as though he were the father. Eventually, the man invited her to the church I was sitting in that evening. Through his kindness and devotion to her, she fell in love and so did he. They married and became a family.
Her closing words as she told her story were, “I am not an outcast and my son is not an orphan!”
Though she had felt like an outsider, though she had a storied past, though she had seemed too broken to be fixed, she was welcomed in. She was accepted into the family of God because of grace.
Her story is all of our stories. We were all outsiders but were welcomed into the fold of God’s family.
Mike Berry is an author, public speaker, adoptive father, and former foster parent. He travels the country sharing hope with hurting parents. He and his wife, Kristin, created the blog confessionsofanadoptiveparent.com.