Friday, September 21, 2012

My son George's first single: "It's a Gift"

Here is the lyric video. I love these because words are everything to me. Jordan Lawhead and Jason Reeves, the writers, nailed it!

Five Minute Friday: Wide


Ok I'm a Presbyterian, so verse memory is not my forte, but when I hear the word "wide" my mind goes immediately to Paul's beautiful statement in the New Testament that goes something like this, " I pray that you may how long and deep and WIDE is the love of Jesus."

I just love the thought of how WIDE Jesus' love is.  It give me comfort chills.  His love is so big, I can't run to it's borders.  I can't stumble out of it's parameters when I'm having a bad day.  And there's room. Room not just for me and my foibles, but for countless others and their foibles.

His WIDE love embraces people from all nations and ethnicities.  There is no deed  too bad to keep someone locked out from this love.

And the bigness and wideness of Jesus love provides a wild and fulfilling adventure for those who submit to it.  With something so Wide to follow, everyday is a new storyline full of Kingdom surprises. Who will He bring to me today to invite to share in the Wideness?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Son, Two Families and One Extravagant Love

  How God is Transforming an Overlooked Orphan into a Trophy of Grace

George Dennehy performing live on Acces Direct, Romania, September 2012

My adopted son, George Dennehy, who was born without arms,  is receiving worldwide attention for his unique ability to sing and play the guitar with his feet to the glory of God.  Here is his story.

It began almost 18 years ago in a remote Romanian village. Comolsu Mare isn't significant enough to show up on most Romanian maps.  It's a cluster of bungalows and patches of land where small sustenance farmers eek out a living. There are a few shops and churches and a road that leads to bigger places.

Comolsu Mare Romania,  December 1994

John and Elena Dragan lived here with their three young daughters when the unspeakable happened.  Elena gave birth to a long-awaited first son, but the boy had no arms. John the farmer wept and Elena fell into despair as little George with no arms was whisked away by the doctors.

The Dragans faced an impossible situation. If they brought their boy home, he would be shunned by the townsfolk. Handicaps were largely considered a curse from God. And what kind of life would their armless son lead on a small working farm? George was placed in an orphanage in the city of Timisoara and Elena and John went home to piece together the shards of their broken lives.

As George languished in an understaffed orphanage, God was tweaking the hearts of a young couple in the United States, my husband Mike and I.  Mike and I and our three children were living a comfortable life in New England, but God's extravagant grace to us was making us restless to serve Him in a more profound way.  The black and white, blurred photo of the 3-month old armless boy in Romania led the way. The Bethany Christian Services Newsletter said he was "born with no arms" and "desperately needs a loving home."

Sharon and George at the orphanage in Timisoara, December 1994

When word reached John and Elena that a US family was willing to adopt George, panic set in. Why would an American family with three children want their son--a reject, a pariah?  Rumors of evil intentions fueled their fear.  They decided that only a face to face meeting with these Americans would quell their fears sufficiently to trust Mike and I to take their son away with us for good.

The Meeting

Mike, Sharon and Erin Dennehy with the Dragan family,  December 1994.

Then the impossible situation shifted to us. How could we convince a mother and a father from a different culture, that speak a different language and that are deeply wounded from the circumstances surrounding their son, that we have good intentions?

I knew that only God could speak a language that we both understood.  It was His Word that birthed an understanding between our two families which has spanned 18 years. I knew that George's parents needed to understand what happened to their son was not a cruel accident.  That a loving, redeeming God had created George uniquely for a purpose.  After reading portions of Psalm 139 which I had highlighted...

13. For you (God) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,  I know
         that full well.
15. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
      When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,  16. your eyes saw my unformed body. 
       All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

...Elena put the Bible to her chest and said through discerning tears, "I will hold this close to my heart until I die."

The story continues in a coming installment...