Born with a cleft palate, Melanie was rejected at birth by her mother and put into an orphanage. An operation to remove the disfigurement left a scar. But far deeper was the scar in her heart. Although elderly relatives later took her in and showed her affection, only on rare occasions did she see her mother, a divorcee, who remained an aloof stranger to the little girl. The years passed by. Melanie eventually married and had her own family. Emotionally unstable, she predictably had difficulties in her marriage and left her husband, moving to another country thousands of miles away. Living alone with her young girls, she became moody and prone to irrational fits of rage. A few years later, after a series of confrontations, she ordered her 17-year-old daughter out of their home. Was Melanie subconsciously trying to make her daughter suffer for the pain of rejection she herself had felt as a child? Human nature has a way of making the innocent pay for its hurts. Can anything break this evil pattern?
An ordinary-looking housewife, Helen did not stand out in a crowd. Yet it was impossible to forget her. Compassion was written all over her. You could see it in the expression of her eyes. It was in her smile, not pasted on, but slow and gentle, welling up from within and permeating her entire being. Helen had known the pain of being an unwanted child. Her father abandoned the family after an early divorce and it was obvious that her mother loved Helen’s brother but not her. If anyone had a right to be bitter, surely Helen did. Amazingly she wasn’t. Early in life she had made a decision that transformed her. She promised God that she would give a home to unwanted babies. And she kept her word. Married, with 5 children of her own, she opened her home for 35 years to bring happiness to unwanted children — 568 in all.
Countering Hatred with Love
One of the world’s oldest books was right when it advised, ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’ (Romans 12:21 NIV).
Maybe you, too, have felt the pain of rejection. Maybe you have thought, ‘Oh, if only someone cared about me! My troubles leave others cold. No one understands. No one has any heart.’ God, however, has a heart, a loving fatherly heart. Each of Earth’s billions is known to God by name. We have His assurance: ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!’ (Isaiah 49:15 NIV).
He is aware of our every need. Words can never adequately express how much God loves us. One and all have access to His heart. Everyone, literally everyone, can experience His love and care. And in His Son Jesus Christ we have the supreme revelation of the heart of God. Despised, rejected, the Man of Sorrows paid the ultimate price of love with His own life. In our own strength we cannot love, but through Jesus we can.
And only love has the authority and strength to break down walls of division and change hearts. If we can’t get along with others, let us start showing them love. Then we will see miracles.