Davion Only may be the most famous orphan in America. In October 2013 he stood before a church congregation in Florida and made an appeal for adoption: “My name is Davion and I’ve been in foster care since I was born. I know God hasn’t given up on me, so I’m not giving up either.”
He passed through several temporary homes, then called Connie Going, his adoption case worker of nearly 10 years. Every year he had asked if she would adopt him, but she always hesitated. “I always believed there was a better family than us out there,” she told a reporter. “He deserves so much in this world.” This time was different.
“In adoption there is a ‘claiming moment,’ when you know [someone is] your child,” she explains. “When he called me to ask, in that moment, I just knew. When he asked me, my heart felt this ache and I just knew he was my son.” The adoption is set to become final today, and Davion will have a family.
In other news, the general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK has issued an astounding statement following the massacre of 30 Coptic Christians by the Islamic State. Bishop Angaelos: “It is not only for our own good, but indeed our duty to ourselves, the world, and even those who see themselves as our enemies, to forgive and pray for the perpetrators of this and similar crimes. We pray for these men and women, self-confessed religious people, that they may be reminded of the sacred and precious nature of every life created by God.”
Bishop Angaelos has captured the heart of the gospel: God’s unconditional, passionate love for all of us. And each of us.
When I wrote on the South Carolina shooting and racial discrimination last week, a perceptive reader responded with this observation: we should not speak of people as members of different “races.” He notes that we have various ethnicities, characterized by differences in appearance. But we are all members of one race—the human race.
As members of that race, we are each loved by the One who died for us. Whether an Islamic State murderer or victim, whether residents of the U.S. or another country, whether citizens or immigrants, whether rich or poor, we are each created by the same Father. And when we ask his Son to be our Lord and Savior, we become his children.
The most powerful metaphor for salvation is adoption. (Tweet this) In Roman law, once a child was adopted, he could never be disinherited. So it is with the children of God: he sent his Son “to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:5-7).
The next person you meet is someone your Father loves as much as he loves you. (Tweet this) Like Bishop Angaelos, will you pray for those who have hurt you today? Like Connie Going, will you offer God’s unconditional grace to someone in need of grace? Like Davion Only, will you receive his love wherever you need love most?