Hi everyone, my name is Matt Parker. I’m the husband behind the artist. Amber has been creating art for our entire marriage. I consider her art inspiring, encouraging, supportive in times of grief. Also at times, for me, it brings a sense of confirmation when looking for the connection to the foundation in my life. I would be lying if I said that my personal religious belief was not the factor the shapes my life’s foundation. But I also believe that a religious belief system is not needed to relate to and draw meaning from my wife’s spiritual pieces. This piece “Chosen”, for me has a special meaning.
I was born in the late 1970’s to woman who had been going through rough times and over-all, a rough life. She was a single mom of one already and then all of the sudden she found out another child was on the way. This was a time in our nation when Roe Vs Wade was a very hot topic. It was a time when the battle for life was in it’s infancy and the world seemed to be going to hell in a hand basket. (though all these years later we still feel the same way)
God has a way of putting us into places and positions that will have an impact on not just the rest of our lives, but also the lives of others whom we touch. My birth mother (God bless her) was placed with a difficult choice for such a time. She was “Chosen” to make a decision that would not only affect her life, but also the lives of countless others as well.
We forget that our number one job in life is not only to have kind words for people but to have heartfelt, intentional, and servant like action for all the people whom our lives touch. We have all been “Chosen” to do this. My birth mother choose life when so many were not making that choice. She “chose” the hard road of caring for a child for 9 months in her womb when she knew she could not provide for that child in the real world.
When I was born my birth mother named me David. I’m fairly sure she didn’t know that in Hebrew, that name means “Beloved”. She loved me and my older sister so much that she made the hard choices. She made the choice OF not going on welfare. But this also meant that she could only provide for one child. So she “chose” adoption for me. I will always be thankful for that. She was “Chosen” to make a Choice.
On the other side of the state there lived a young married couple who had been trying to have a child for years. They had done everything possible to have a child for 8 years with nothing but pain and disappointment to show for it. They constantly talked to doctors, lawyers, and their pastor in the chase of their dream to have a child. They never stopped fighting because they knew that one day God would have His say. In their hearts they knew that they were “Chosen” to have a children. Well that day came. The adoption was finalized, and I became the chosen one, adopted into a loving home. They “chose” the Name “Matthew” for me. In Hebrew, it means “A Gift From God.” My adopted parents loved me and raised me as their own.
God placed me in a family that had love as legacy—love that ran through the men of my family. My grandparents were married for over 50 years before my grandfather passed away. He was always faithful, always working, always supporting, always providing for, and always loving our family. Even when it was hard. He passed that same heart to my father. A man that, at the end of his life, was not just my dad, BUT my best friend. A man that I could call anytime, about anything, and he would listen and give me sound advice. And sometimes that advice was, “this your chance to make your mark and figure it out for yourself.” Those times frustrated me. But they made me who I am today. He showed me, with his actions, not only what unconditional love looked like, but how to put it into practice. All I had to do was pay attention and follow.
I guess I paid attention. And followed. Here is where I’d like to share the wisdom my Father showed me. I wanted to give you a chance to see that there is a deeper meaning to this piece than just reading the surface meaning of a Bible passage (which I’m not saying is wrong). Ephesians 1:3-9 says – Blessed be the God and Father of our lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Just as He “Chose” us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He “Predestined” (Chose) us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the “beloved.” In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which he purposed in Him.
If you have noticed I have been using quotation marks when ever you have seen “Chose” or “Chosen” through this article. We have all been “Chosen,” at all points of our lives, to do or be something. You don’t have to be adopted to understand that you have been selected to be the sum of the choices you make with and through your life. Our lives don’t only touch people we know. We also touch people that we will never meet. My birth mother will possibly never know that because of her choice, not only did I become a son, husband, father, and an active member of our community that God has placed us in, but most importantly, that I understand that life is not about me and what I can get out of it. It is about what I choose to put into it. I’m here to serve and support my fellow man. That’s what we have all been “Chosen” to do. To reach out and be a physical presence in the lives around us. We are all “Chosen”. We are all precious to God, just like the Baby in the picture. My birth mother was “Chosen” to have me, and she called me Beloved. My adopted parents were “Chosen” to raise me, and they called me a Gift From God. We are all “Chosen” and looked at as a Beloved Gift From God. Because that’s the identity in each of us. You are and forever will be “Chosen”.