Tuesday (in Part 1) we heard from Greg Lucas about his family and how the Gospel informs the care of the vulnerable. It was deeply insightful, true, good, and beautiful. More of the same today in the conclusion of our interview with Greg. You can get Greg’s book, Wrestling With An Angel, here.
Sam: Tell us about your upcoming book. Why did you write it and who might benefit from reading it?
Greg: The book is titled Wrestling with an Angel. It began as a personal journal, morphed into a public blog and then bled over to the actual book. It is a collection of memoirs and life lessons of grace reflected through the struggles of my severely disabled son.
The title of the book comes from Genesis 32 and illustrates my struggle with God through caring for my son. But more than a memoir of my relationship with my son, it is a rather raw account of God revealing grace in my life through the most unexpected, and undesired circumstances.
At fist glance, it might be seen as a book about disability—and I hope that families dealing with the challenges of disability will read it and benefit from it. I especially hope that fathers raising disabled children will be helped by the book since most points of perspective on families dealing with disability comes from a mother’s view.
But the book is actually about a father seeing himself in relation to God, through the life of his disabled son. It is a book about coming to the end of your rope, the end of your strength, the end of your understanding, and finding that God’s grace really is enough—that in our greatest weakness, God really is our greatest strength. This is the universal message of the book. We are all disabled by sin. We are all looking for healing and hope. The cross is the ultimate answer for our ultimate handicap, and every difficulty of our disability is pointing us there.
Sam: What part does local church/ gospel community play in the life of your family?
Greg: The local church, and especially the gospel community we are a part of, is central to the overall spiritual health of my family. But that’s not all. The emotional, mental and even physical aspects of our family are often kept in check through the local body of Christ. Our gospel community has always been a place where the diversity and disability of our family has been welcomed and even celebrated.
I use the term “gospel community” to describe the real heart of our local church. We don’t just meet on Sunday morning, hear an inspiring message and go about our own way the rest of the week. Our gospel community is comprised of close families and good friends doing life together. We share each other’s burdens and celebrate each others victories. We attend our kid’s ball games and birthday parties; help each other with work projects, counsel, encourage and even admonish each other through life.
Sam: Do you have any wisdom/encouragement for people who are being moved to explore adoption or other avenues of mercy?
Greg: Wisdom? Allow me to stack a pile of soap boxes and climb to the top.
Adoption is very difficult. It is a long and often heart wrenching process. Depending on what type of adoption is pursued (domestic, foreign, special needs, etc.) you could wait upwards of four years and spend up to $40,000 on the adoption process. You could also wait a few months and spend as little as $2,000.00.
I’ll put this as simple as I can. Some types of adoption are not for everyone, but everyone can and should be involved in the adoption process.
According to UNICEF, there are somewhere between 143 and 200 million orphans worldwide. By some liberal statistics (and perhaps sprinkled with some divine irony) that’s about the same amount of people who identify themselves as “Christians” in the US.
I have a firm conviction that every member of a Christ-centered, gospel believing church should be involved in the adoption process. If you have room in your family, fill it with a child in need of a family. If you have money in the bank, but cannot physically adopt, support a family who can.
As American Christians we are incredibly wealthy. Our houses (even the smallest of them) are bigger than most foreign orphanages. We have the resources, we have the room, we have the gospel…all that’s missing are 200 million orphans!
I also believe that the greatest influence of the gospel is within the immediate family—Dad pastoring his family and both parents living the gospel in front of their kids. If this is true, then one of the greatest ministries of the church and one of the most effective settings for evangelism and discipleship should be the ministry of adoption.
At our local church, my pastor is setting the example for this. He and his wife have three amazing children. They don’t “long for” more kids, neither do they feel that there is something missing in their lives in their early 30’s. They simply saw a need that broke their hearts, found some room, scraped up some money and now they are on a waiting list for a child in Ethiopia. Talk about Great Commission obedience!
With this in mind, take some time to walk through your enormous house and ask God what he would have you do with your part of the 200 million orphans worldwide, most of whom may never hear the gospel, much less have it lived out in a loving family of their own.
Ok, I’ll climb down from my soapbox now.
Thank you, Greg. May God be strong on your behalf.