In 2005, my husband and I started the process to adopt a little girl from China. It was a brand new scary process that we knew nothing about. All we knew was that we wanted a child.
When I am passionate about something, I want to know everything I can about it. So, I did a lot of reading about China and adoption.
One of the people I read about was a woman named Gladys Aylward. She was a poor woman from London who wanted to go to China in the 1930’s to be a missionary. but she had no skills, no education and she didn’t speak the language, so no formal organization would allow her to go.
She was angry and frustrated, but she didn’t give up. She spent a year working and saving, so she could make the trek on her own.
As she spent time in China, it become more and more her home. More and more a place she belonged and eventually, a place, she never wanted to leave.
Things got very ugly in China when the Japanese invaded and her family wanted her to leave, but she refused.
No matter how dangerous it got, she would not walk away from the people she had grown to love.
She said, “Greater Love Has No One Than This, That He Lay Down His Life For A Friend”- John15:13.
She said, “These are my people”.
Unlike Gladys, I didn’t want to be in this community.
I came here purely out of a desperate need.
A need to save my life.
What I found here is rare.
The gun community is a generous community. It is unlike any other I have been associated with.
I did, for a while, belong to the adoption community for a few years and though I am still crazy passionate about children and orphans.
Those are not my people.
I did, for a while, belong to the church going Christian community and though I am still crazy passionate about God.
Those are not my people.
Generally a group, any group, has an agenda. Stated or not. Conscious or not. No matter how well meaning, they almost always want something.
That something is usually steeped in power and control.
Politicians, religions, schools, the anti gun crowd, you name it. They want to bring you for what you can give them, which is often nothing more than a feeling of power and self worth for the leaders of the group.
They want to take something from you in order to gain something for themselves.
Not this group.
In the past 10 months, I have gained so much more than the ability to line Up my front site on the target.
This group has welcomed me when I had absolutely nothing to offer them.
I was empty.
I was broken.
I needed things I was too weak to even know I needed.
I came here desperate and searching.
Day by day this community, these gun people, built me up.
They never once pretend to be anything other than exactly who they are.
They didn’t try to wrap themselves up in a pretty little package to draw me in.
They didn’t use smoke and mirrors and they never, not once, lied to me.
They told me things I didn’t want to hear. They showed me things I didn’t want to see. They made me face thing I didn’t want to face.
All while holding my hand and guiding me and nurturing me and givng me a safe place to grow.
They wanted me to grow.
They wanted me to be stronger.
They wanted me to be able to depend on myself.
They gave me everything they had, so I wouldn’t need them any more.
They gave me tools and guidance, so that I could soar and each and every time I took a step forward, they have been there, to say, good for you. Job well done.
They did this, not because of me.
Not because I am something special.
They did it because they are special.
They are rare and they are so very, very special.
It is who they are.
Dig deep. Dig into the core of their being.
This is who they are.
You, you who hate guns, you gave me nothing.
All that was offered me was a life of fear, of resentment, of bitterness, of dependance…
The gun community has offered me hope and strength, and courage.
They have taught me to have belief in myself.
They have asked nothing of me in return and, yet, I would give them my life.
Funny thing is, they would never ask me to.
This is where I belong.
These are my people.