This song has been stuck in my head for the past month, and we’ve sung it a few times on Sunday mornings. Somewhere around the 25th time I listened to the song on Spotify, I had a realization – foster care love is reckless love. The love that a foster parent has for a child in their home doesn’t make sense to many people. They don’t understand how we can so deeply love a child that may leave our lives forever. They say that they could never be a foster parent because they would get too attached and wouldn’t be able to say goodbye. They might feel like it’s unhealthy for our kids to be exposed to the trauma that kids in foster care have experienced. They don’t get it. Some people think that loving a child in foster care is dangerous, foolish, and reckless. Reckless literally means ‘without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action.’ Foster parents are fully aware of the consequences of their choice to help children from hard places. They know that heartbreak, difficulty, and loss are likely – but they are willing to take the risk.
“When I use the phrase the reckless love of God, when we say it, we’re not saying that God himself is reckless – he’s not crazy. We are however saying that the way he loves is in many regards quite so. But what I mean is this: He’s utterly unconcerned with the consequences of his actions with regard to his own safety, comfort, and well-being. His love isn’t crafty or slick. It’s not cunning or shrewd. In fact all things considered it’s quite childlike and might I even suggest sometimes downright ridiculous. His love bankrupted heaven for you and for me. His love doesn’t consider himself first – it isn’t selfish or self-serving. He doesn’t wonder what he will gain or lose by putting himself on the line. He simply puts himself out there, on the off chance that you and I might look back at him and give him that love in return. His love leaves the 99 to find the one every time and to many practical adults, that’s a foolish concept. What if he loses the 99 in finding the one? What if? Finding that one lost sheep is and will always be supremely important. His love isn’t cautious – it’s the love that sent his own son to die a gruesome death on a cross. There’s no plan B with the love of God. He gives his heart so completely, so preposterously that if refused, we would think it irreparably broken, yet he gives himself away again and again and again and again time and time again. Make no mistake, our sins do pain His heart and 70 times 7 is a lot of times to get your heart broken yet he opens up and allows us back in every single time. His love saw you when you hated him and all logic said they’ll reject me. He said no, I don’t care what it costs – Me, I lay My life on the line as long as I get their hearts. To make it personal, His love saw me, a broken down kid with regret as deep as the ocean. My innocence and youth poured out like water, and he found me. He put me on his shoulders and he carried me home, because he’s just that good. He’s just that kind. He’s a father who never gives up.”
Foster parents demonstrate the love of Jesus to children who may have never experienced healthy love of any kind. They do so knowing full well that they may not be loved in return, and the day may come where the child is no longer a part of their lives. They don’t let the fear and uncertainty and pain affect the ferocious love that they have for children in their home. The best foster parents are ones who don’t regard their own feelings as important. They are the ones who understand that the goal of foster care is reunification, and that means that if it all goes according to plan they will experience the grief and loss of a child leaving their home. We would love to help you experience and share the reckless love of God with those around you. If that’s through foster care or something else, or if you aren’t sure how to do that – Contact us and we’d love to talk.