March 9 Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Abram and Sarai had to overcome shame at their failure to produce an heir in order to accept God’s promise. Like Sarai, I have experienced the shame of failing to produce offspring in a world which values and celebrates family above all else. The childless like me (whether by choice or by chance), sometimes feel like society’s losers. I have experienced God’s call to live defiantly as a call to live now without children. Living defiantly means having the audacity to trust that God has provided for me as he has for all his children.
I find encouragement in people who never had children, yet answered God’s call. People like Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale, and Jane Addams. What if they had retreated into depression and self-pity because their lives did not match those with more outward symbols of success? We have all benefited from their radical choices.
What inner contribution are we holding back from the world because of some aspect of our lives of which we are ashamed? Are we ashamed because we are childless or shy or fat or old or unemployed or depressed or poor? Let us encourage each other as we take steps out of conformity into radically courageous and defiant lives that do not let these things limit us.
God, help us meet your covenant by transforming the object of our shame into our opportunity for growth. Let us have faith in God’s covenant and believe that if we accept God’s call on our lives, God will work in our lives as he did for Abraham and Sarah to transform our shame in an instant into a destiny better than we could ever imagine. Let’s give that gift to ourselves, to Calvary and to the world.