I recently traveled to another part of the state to speak with a middle school ministry about God Fathering us into a new kind of kid. I was once again struck by the dire need for wounded healers. Desmond Tutu coined the term, "Wounded Healer" for those who have experienced deep affliction, but are now called to bring healing to others who are suffering from that same affliction. It brought language to God's call on my life to be just that for those growing up without a father. It was evident after the night's program that God had moved in powerful ways, and as I prayed and chatted with several students and adults who have experienced a fatherless upbringing, I was again humbled and set on fire by the need for God to Father us.
One gentleman, who is an adult leader to the students, shared with me how his dad had committed suicide two years ago and how he needs God's fathering ways more than ever. He was also surrounded by students who are without a dad, and they cling to him for encouragement and direction, so it was clear that our time together was a divine appointment. Once again I found myself at home in God's invitation to be Fathered and I was struck by the poetic, unique way in which He writes it to each of us.
The three hour trek back to Grand Haven felt more like sailing than driving, and God's words felt more like a lullaby than a conversation.
The beautiful song continued Wednesday night as I was taking a few guys home following our own youth gathering. One of the guys shared how his dad walked out on the family when he was seven years old, and how the stories shared the last number of weeks, by both students and adults, put words to his desire to be Fathered by God. He then asked if he could share his story at youth, but through the new found scenery he finds himself standing in. He shared how the religion of his childhood has given way to a relationship that he didn't know was possible, but is now unmistakable.
What a privilege to share in God's ongoing story