Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Compassionate Judgement?

If you follow my blog, then you know that for the last 6 years we have been walking through the world of foster parenting.  Two years ago, the goal for two of the four blessings we have was changed to termination of parental rights.  For two years we have navigated the never-ending roller coaster ride of canceled and postponed court dates.  

At the beginning of the journey we were hopeful that the biological parents would be able to get the help they needed and reunify with the kids.  But as the years ticked by, and more kids were added to our number, and as they continued to struggle with making good life choices, we realized that termination of parental rights would be what was best for the kids.  Each of these sweet babies deserve a permanent, stable future and after 6 years of instability we were ready to move on.

Well the day finally arrived, with great anticipation we headed down to the court house ready to have an end to this craziness, at least for two of these babies.  We were filled with excitement and nervousness as we entered the courtroom and the trial for termination actually began.  The judge was seated at the bench, the state's attorney and DCFS lawyers were ready to go.  The biological parents were there with their attorneys, and we were sitting with our attorney.  Ready, set, go!

Then the strangest thing happened.  As I looked at my brother's face and his wife's face, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of sadness for them.  I was expecting a different emotion...joy that judgement day had finally arrived, "You made your bed, so go lie in it," kind of sentiments. Instead, I was heartbroken at the finality of all of this for them.  The children that they birthed would no longer be connected to them in anyway.  No longer would they have any legal rights to them, even the birth certificates would erase their existence from the lives of these kids.  I should have been jumping for joy...this has been a long, hard battle.  They have been terrible to the children, and terrible to my husband and I.  Time after time they had the opportunity to make changes and they did not even one time choose to make any real alterations.  They may have given a little lip service here or there but in the end they each went right back to the  lifestyles that got the children removed in the first place.  So why was I feeling compassion rather that satisfaction?

As I thought more on this, I couldn't help but connect the events of this situation to what is coming for all of us in the future.  Someday each of us will face our final judgement day (Matthew 25:31-46) and I couldn't help but wonder if God's heart would be as heavy as mine was for these biological parents.  Will He be heartbroken for the people who gave lip service but no real commitment to the life changing relationship with their maker?  Will He be filled to overflowing with compassion for people who continued in their lifestyle even though they had been given opportunities for change?  Will He feel tears spring up as He looks into the eyes of His creation and has to pronounce the judgement that he/she has chosen for him/herself?  I can imagine that His heart will be broken that day, knowing that He did all He could and yet hell is what is awaiting these people.  No more second chances, His name will be forever removed from their birth certificate.  This time, not because He chose that but because they chose to erase His existence from their lives.  It will be a sad, sad day for the Maker of Heaven and Earth when He has to stand in that "courtroom" as tears of compassion roll down His cheeks.  I guarantee He will have no thoughts of, "Well you made your bed..."  Rather, He will likely have to turn away as sadness overwhelms Him when the final judgement is read.

Thoughts?  Questions or Comments?  As always, I love to hear from you!