I like to share some quick stories about some men I recently met.
One man has been dealing with abandonment issues for most of his life...he is now 75 years old.
One man grew up in a worse abuse situation than I did (if you know my story (Freedom Story) that's saying something!
One young man described himself as "Boring Brian", he struggles with self-worth.
One young man desperately wants an older man to help "father" him on his journey and walk with Jesus
They all came (along with about 40 others) to hear me speak about "Manhunt: God's Search for Sons" at my seminar at the Iron Sharpens Iron Conference in Carlise, PA (March 14th). The father wound is real, I've experienced first-hand and seen it revealed in the eyes of many brothers. When I start to share about how God wants to be their Father, no matter their age, I see a whole range of emotions cover their faces. Some wipe their eyes, some stare down at the floor with one hand wrestling for control of the other, and then there are the ones with a look of wonder as if they have heard the best news since they were forgiven of their sins... the smile gives it away.
It is for these faces... these hearts I do this. This is the message, that God is my Father, your Father, their Father, that drives me to speak, to share and to give hope.
“The child asks of the Father whom he knows. Thus, the essence of Christian prayer is not general adoration, but definite, concrete petition. The right way to approach God is to stretch out our hands and ask of One who we know has the heart of a Father.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
To help men stretch out their hands towards Father God is a privilege, to witness the connection happen is a blessing beyond words...even now as I write the emotion of it all swallows me in its richness and my eyes moisten with gratitude.
The stories continue...
The 75 year young brother received confirmation about a life-changing decision. He and his wife recently applied to become foster parents (at 75!), releasing the champion in them both. He will fight abandonment with acceptance.
The brother with an abuse story worse than my own sat down with me as we shared the restoring power of the love of the Father. We talked for 30 mins (after all had left) marveling about the goodness of God. Further healing was cemented.
I renamed "Boring Brian" to "Bold Brian" reminding him of who he was in Christ and that nothing is boring about a revealed son of the Father. The light in his eyes was priceless.
As for the young man seeking a spiritual dad...he had one of the biggest smiles in the room, he received hope that that man would be stepping up soon in his life. Such is the Father's love.
Fatherlessness is poison, it almost consumed me with its devastation, but the love of the Father pulled me out of darkness into His marvelous light.
I want to help Him do the same for others…to follow His plan.
His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5