Dear pals who read this blog, a note for you. I know this isn’t the usual short, other-than-serious fare you have come to love here, but please give this interview a read. It is challenging, inspiring, deeply beautiful, and true. I urge you to it.
Greg Lucas is a cop, so his day-job is centered on justice. But there is more than justice on his heart. He and his wife, Kim, have a household where art is on display. It is a gallery of love, with portraits of mercy and sculptures of grace filling every space. Not convinced? Read on, and check out Greg’s new book here. Interview, away…
Greg and his son, Jake
Sam: Briefly tell us about your family. I understand you have twenty-three adopted kids from ten different continents. Correct?
Greg: I’m sure that opening question perked your reader’s attention. In reality I have four adopted children from two continents. Although I will remain open to any number the Lord sees fit to send me—or send me to.
I have been married to my wife, Kim, for 22 years. She is the love of my life and the part of me that makes me tolerable to the outside world. Besides being the most wonderful human being that I know, she is also a full time mother and a part time neonatal flight nurse who flies in helicopters to rescue babies. She is the closest thing to a super hero that I have ever experienced.
My oldest son, Jacob, is 17. He is my greatest challenge and one of my greatest teachers in life. He has taught me much about the character of my heavenly Father.
Noah is 16. He is the gentle giant and quiet leader of our family in my absence. Noah was almost beat to death by his stepfather when he was two years old. He came to live with us when he was four, nearly broken to pieces. It took many years, but God put him back together again and today he is a towering trophy of grace.
Aaron is 15 and the half-brother of Noah (by blood). It was Aaron’s biological father that abused Noah. Aaron was two years old when he came into our family. He was the meanest two-year old on the planet (seriously). Today, he is one of the coolest kids I know—kind and compassionate; gentle and loving—another testimony to God’s transforming grace.
And then there’s Hope, one of the best things ever made in China. She is four going on forty. As my wife says, “She is a young body with an old soul.” Hope came to us at the most difficult time in our lives and I am convinced that God, in His providence, sent her to rescue us rather than us to rescue her. She will change her world someday, mark my word.
Sam: How does the Gospel inform the adoption and care of vulnerable people?
Greg: I would love to write a book in response to that question, but I don’t have to because Dr. Russell Moore has written the best one I know of on this subject (Adopted for Life). Since there are so many aspects and illustrations to this subject, and since Dr. Moore already has the book, I’ll refer to the scripture that best reflects the gospel in relation to adoption in my personal experience.
Romans 8 verses 1-11 gives a summary of the gospel with this introductory declaration, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” With this sentence as a backdrop, it is safe to assume that all those outside of Christ are the “vulnerable” ones, or even more descriptively, the “condemned” ones.
After laying out the gospel in terms of death to life, law to grace, flesh to Spirit, and unrighteous to righteous, the Apostle Paul says in verse 14, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God (or who are “in Christ”) are sons of God.” Then, in verses 15 and 16 he explains what the title “son’s of God” truly entails.
“…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…”
In summary, we were orphaned by sin, enslaved to fear and vulnerable to the most unspeakable evils this world could inflict upon us. We were outside of Christ and outside of hope. But God, by His mercy and grace, brought us into Christ and into His family allowing us to call Him “Daddy” and receive full rights to His inheritance—the inheritance of His only Son. All this was accomplished through the cross.
Now the important parallel:
Every time a Christian goes to another country or another state or even another neighborhood and brings an orphan into their family, the gospel is being illustrated all over again. And the gospel story is being lived as a testimony to that child long before he or she can even comprehend the truth of the gospel itself.
My four year old daughter doesn’t fully understand the gospel yet. But she can articulate almost every detail of her adoption. When God does turn the light of regeneration on in her heart, what a bright light it will be, and what a powerful testimony she will have.
Now, perhaps we can better understand God’s emphasis in scripture on caring for the orphans and other “vulnerable” people. For in their physical plight, we can best see our own spiritual story as we point them towards the Defender of orphans; the Father to the fatherless; the God who places the lonely in families.
Thursday we’ll conclude with part 2. Greg will talk about his book and make the Gospel-centered case for adoption.
Here’s the link to the publisher’s website for the book.