Take Your Vitamin Z posts a challenging and heart-wrenching story about the short life of their friend’s adopted child. The Browns adopted Matthew Patrick even after learning and knowing full well he had a rare disorder which meant he would live only for 4-12 months.
After about 24 hours they found out that Matt had a rare condition known as hydranencephaly. This is a brain disorder where the brain fails to develop correctly.
Matt’s father, an OB resident, and his wife, were led to fight to adopt him nonetheless. You can read more of their story and reflections, but let me quote one thought here from Matt’s mother to challenge us in our thinking about sin, selfishness, and parenting.
Before Matt, I was tempted to believe I loved my children with at least an inkling of selflessness. I now know that I expect at least some return for my investment. At the very least, I would like a two-month smile and a 3-month squeal of delight in response for the long nights and endless feedings. I am humbled further to think of the earthly reward I am tempted to expect from my older children. Each day with Matt, it looks more and more like all of our reward is being deposited in heaven (or not, because God loves a cheerful giver, and sometimes, I am just not). Frankly, I am not all that happy about the choice of accounts. While I may have previously thought I wanted to deposit all of my treasure in heaven, I now know I am more or a 50/50 or even 75/25 kind of girl; I would like some treasure in heaven and most of it here.
It may be this very realization of further indwelling sin that God seeks to remedy in part through our love of Matt. I once thought we were called to care for orphans and widows in their distress because by caring for them, we would see buckets of fruit in our own lives. I now believe, we are called to selfless acts because in our attempt to selflessness, our selifishness is exposed. I am utterly incapable of selfless love apart from Christ at work in me. So, exposed and helpless in the wake of selfishness, we have no choice but to rest completely in Christ for salvation. By faith alone, we are saved. Through our attempts at “good” works, we become all the more aware of our need for salvation. Praise God that His grace and love cover us completely and instill in us the hope of heaven!