The idea of adoption has a sort of stigma. One feels less for being adopted. It seems that a person must be unwanted, and discarded to be eligible for adoption. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If one is unwanted and discarded, then it is quite possible that rebirth and reshaping is possible. This is especially true of the Christian life.
I was reminded of this by a passage in Magician’s End by Raymond E. Feist. A child born from a soldier taking advantage of a character’s soon to be wife is adopted by him. This child goes onto be characterized as resembling him, taking on his mannerisms and expressions; to the point that it was often almost impossible to remember that they are not biological sire and son. Rather, this child has become a scion, an implant, a figure that is spliced into the family. So close as to be mistaken for the biological child of this man.
We, as followers of Christ, are likewise scion. We are grafted into the tree of life, and should appear to belong. It goes far beyond appearance into every aspect of being. We need to become like Him; Jesus was and is the exemplar for our daily behavior. As disciples we need to strive to have behavior that is indistinguishable from His.
As I trained in martial arts, I often used a mirror to see if I was doing the motions correctly. Also, I often mirrored the motions of those more advanced than me. Both these practices are important. In the Christian life it often comes down to the failure of the disciple maker and often that of the disciple as well in mimic the demonstrated behavior. It is very easy to get lost in the shuffle of belonging without belief. It is the belief that makes one want to mirror the action of Jesus and the Father.
Just like the warriors, we need to learn how to mirror. We need to become so close to the action of Jesus that we cannot be told apart from Him. We need to resemble Him. We need to take on the mannerism, expressions, and habits he set forth or would approve of. In so doing we will become so like him that adoption is a non-issue; that belonging and belief are intertwined. Only then will we as warriors be in tune enough to lock shields and support each other in a phalanx of belief. It is this behavior and lifestyle that allows for battlefield brothers and sisters to be a family of protection.
Until next time…
Fight the good fight, fairly…T.