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Man Risks His Life to Bring Adopted Daughter Home

Eighteen years ago my friend Andy and his wife traveled to a South American country to complete their adoption of a little girl. At the time this country was gripped by corruption, violence, and political chaos. After Andy arrived, they (that is, anyone who could profit from Andy's plight) kept upping the price for the adoption. When he finally threatened to take the matter to the U.S. consulate, a mysterious figure confronted Andy, warning him of vague but dreadful consequences. It was like a spy thriller, except it was Andy who was caught in the middle of some sinister, dangerous plot.

But he refused to leave without his daughter. The odd thing was that Andy had never even met this girl. She was small and helpless. She hadn't won any awards or aced any tests. He didn't know that one day her smile would light up their living room, or that she'd love their cats and dogs, or that she'd play Mozart pieces on the family piano. For all practical purposes, she was just an orphan condemned to a life of grinding poverty in a far-flung developing country. But for some crazy reason, Andy stayed there, negotiating with corrupt officials, spending oodles of money, squandering time, and even risking his life to find and win this little girl.

Now, eighteen years later, Andy was telling me about an intimate high school graduation party for Maria, his adopted daughter. At one point during the meal, Maria unexpectedly stood up and gave a beautiful speech thanking everyone who had helped her find a better life on Long Island.

As Andy told me this story, he was trying to fight back the tears. I got the impression that he could have lived a hundred more years, or even a hundred lifetimes, and nothing would compare to hearing Maria's spontaneous thank-you. And it all started when Andy walked into that dangerous nightmare in an attempt to bring her home.

When he finished telling me this story, it struck me that Andy, my non-Christian friend, had discovered the heart of the gospel: God's loving, daring, persistent pursuit of people like you and me. Like Maria, there's nothing we can do to earn God's love, but he still loves us. And he doesn't want to leave us behind. Instead, in the presence of Jesus, God walked into the "dangerous nightmare" of human sin and pain in order to save us and bring us back home.

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