Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction. James 1:27
Mark shows strength in ways that are marked by quiet servitude...a quiet servitude that speaks volumes. He works way beyond the time when he is too tired to do anything more. He gets up every night..every night at 2 am and 4 am to administer meds, give injections and wait until nebulizer treatments are complete. Even when I get up and he could stay in bed, he still gets up to stand alongside of me when I am caring for the kids. Mark did not seek children to adopt who had other options. Instead, he has faithfully followed God's calling upon his life to seek out only those children who would have remained as orphans and who would most likely have died without a family to adopt them. Without regard for his own comforts, he stepped out in faith time and time again...
And when he looks into their eyes, he sees Jesus reflected back...not disability or burden or fear for the future..just Jesus. And in that he rejoices in the privilege to feed one more child through a gtube, change one more diaper of an 18 year old and sit by one more hospital bedside when one of his children is hurting. And he calls it all good.
He didn't worry about his own comfort, acquiring his lake cabin, building his dream home...Because his dream lies in carrying for the widow and the orphan...carrying for the least of these..the disabled and those that are seen as disposable in our society. This is where His treasure lies. And it is not just words...not just talk. He walks the walk and shines pure religion through each action.
He has taught our children what sacrifice means...not just superficial, but giving it all for the sake of the gospel. Giving security, insecurities, fear, pride, and comfort all to God in exchange for the mercies that are provided to us each day.
Just like our God...who sure didn't choose to save us because we were something extraordinary. God did not choose us because we had it all together and we were worthy of being saved. He chose to adopt us for his glory...it was in our unholiness that illuminates God's Divinity as it radiate in the skies. The contrast is so great--the change so evident to others..because we had so far to go. It is in our weakness, that his power is perfected. And when he adopted us, it was not conditional...it was eternal for his glory. My husband has followed that example as he has led us to the children who are so lost and so alone. So far from the "perfect" baby that most father's expect--any thing less seems like a betrayal from God.
And He would do it all again....
It has been almost 20 years of being a father for Mark. He still goes to bed late, gets up early, and sneaks in their rooms to hold them, pray for them and show God's infinite love for them. The tender hand of a Father on his children is a gift that will change this world. Mark is that kind of father.
And I know that he would agree with Mother Theresa that he is truly a rich man because....
"It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."