Once I climbed to the top of a Himalayan foothill to watch a sunrise over the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal. The sunrise was brilliant and beautiful, but what I couldn’t take my eyes away from was a small girl and her brother who stood in front of their broken-down stone home at the top of that hill.
I took her photo and she took my photo, black and white film. And then I put my hand on her head and asked God to give me babies of my own. They did not need to be babies made from love and knit in my womb—I asked Him for babies from other worlds and other hills, babies with black hair and black eyes. I asked Him to make me an adopter.
That was seven Augusts ago and I never knew it would take so long for Him to lend His ear to my cry.
I thought marriage would happen in between then and now.
I thought a baby or three would have been knit already within me.
I thought I would have been there and back so many times, bringing home babies without homes.
But sometimes God lends His ears to our cries and sometimes His answers are, “Not yet.”
I have friends who struggle with their womb’s inability to make, hold, and keep a baby inside them. I have sat across from them and I have heard their cries, the cry of a mother who feels less a mother because she has no child to mother. And I have felt that angst in me too. Singleness brings with it a form of barrenness, though we won’t say that of course. We won’t say that because only the married should expect to have progeny, seed.
Last night I think about God and I think about the groaning of creation to be with our Father. I think about how desperately my soul longs for heaven and God and all that is eternal. I think about my adoption into a kingdom like His. I stand in front of my broken down home and he puts His hand on my head and longs to bring me home.
I think about a father who has already adopted his children, but who is waiting to bring us home.
And I think about my Nepali girl and her broken-down stone home, my hand on her head, my ask to God. I thank Him that He has lent His ear, been near to the needy and brokenhearted, the orphan and barren. And I thank Him that what feels far off is a mere moment, a vapor, a breath to Him.
For we know that the whole creation
has been groaning together
in the pains of childbirth until now.
And not only the creation,
but we ourselves who have the first-fruits of the spirit,
groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption as sons,
the redemption of our bodies.