I have heard it said that those without children, know the most about parenting. It seems as though the moment we are thrust in the reality of parenthood, we lose all that wisdom that seemed to ooze out whenever we saw a child acting out or a mom/dad attempting to get their little one to do something. Oh how I long for those days where I knew it all and unashamedly would let parents know with my gaze of all-knowing-ness.
But as much as those without children may have attained new heights of enlightenment, the one thing they will never know until they themselves are parents is the almost spiritual connectedness we as parents feel toward other parents and their challenges, successes and losses. I feel this when watching things like America’s Got Talent. I have absolutely no connection to the 12 year old girl who blows the crowd away with her voice, but when I see the love in her parents eyes, the pride, the hope and the joy as she gets that golden buzzer, at this moment I find I connect with them. I am proud, I feel emotion and I’m so happy!
But as much as we can feel joy for one another’s successes, we feel an equal but opposite loss when there is pain. When moments arise where worlds are shattered, time stands still and people battle to breathe as a result of their loss. In these times, our worlds shatter with yours, out time stands still too and we lose our breath with you.
South Africa is a country with a fractured past a challenging present, and at times, a worrying future. adding fuel to the complexities that come with 11 national languages, many different tribes, huge economic divides, massive unemployment and unresolved racism/prejudices are worldwide events such as #BLACKLIVESMATTER, #BLUELIVESMATTER, ISIS and general uncertainty.
I sit today a little scared! Not because of crime, not because of the uncertainty, not even because of terrorism. Today I find myself more aware than I have ever been that my children may experience things I cannot prepare them for. They may experience things that many have been exposed to for centuries, but for them it will be a lesson that I feel ill-equipped to teach effectively. Continue reading
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn’t REALLY matter.”
This quote by DL Moody struck me when I was preparing for a preach on Ephesians 2 where we read that we were created “To Do” good works that have been designed for us long ago.
As a proviso, I know many great churches with many great people doing great things and I also know of many great churches filled with great people who are doing very little, so this is not a bash at the church or at people, remembering that the church is Jesus’s bride and we are so important to Him that He went to the cross for us, so who am I to take a position of judgement over either.
I’m feeling a little despondent today! I’m sensing the enormity of the challenge and I’m weighed down by the reality of the need. I’m troubled that so many believe and have accepted our own adoption as sons’ and daughters’ into God’s family, and yet the idea of adoption for many is as far from them them as the East is from the West.
We have freely received and therefore should freely give, as Jesus says, but what does this mean? Continue reading
I remember several years ago, sitting in my first adoption class, learning, discovering, being challenged and without my knowing, having my path severely altered.
I also remember the group being asked to give our thoughts on birth moms. Quick as a cat I rememb shuffling my position to one of complete ignorance and judgement. The exact words escape me but my position was based on judging a mom who could give away her child because I could never do that. Thankfully, the lady leading us was skillfully able to highlight the errors in my position in a way that simultaneously corrected my mindset and convicted me to be part of the solution.
Of course I couldn’t relate, of course I could never have given up my first-born, but then again, I never had to! I never stared into the dark only to have fear look back at me, I never viewed my wives pregnancy as anything other than a joy. I never had my dreams shattered over a period of 9 months, I never was abandoned to live out the consequences of my decisions, or perhaps abandoned to live out the consequences of someone elses choices on my body. I never endured ridicule at the possibility of having to drop out of school, to explain to people why I didn’t use protection or couldn’t say no. Continue reading
For some years now, since starting on our journey of adoption, My wife and I have often wondered how we could do more to help the Fatherless. We have limited capacity, we have limited space, practically, the need is too great.
But what if we were to focus on our pond? What if we threw a pebble in our pond, and the people at the pond next door thought “We can do that” and so on. Very quickly we arrive at a place where we don’t have to feel like we are fighting the battle alone, all of a sudden the little I have takes on a new value because it is added to the little someone else has. Very soon, a trickle becomes a stream, becomes a river which becomes a body of water that can now affect massive change.
It is a sad irony that in a world of excess many exist with great need
This is where I find myself. In a world where excess is normal, we also find great lack existing. How do these two polar opposites exist juxtapose?
Last year we started the The Fatherheart Fund, to date the response has been less than inspiring. I’ve spent sometime looking over world and South African Statistics and it’s scary! Continue reading
Sitting in a class the other week, trying to get input from a group of 13 year olds on the phrase “Live simply, so that others can simply live!” I was met with blank faces who couldn’t quite get their head around how they could live more simply and in the process allow others to live. Continue reading
Ever had the conversation with someone where you ask how they are doing and the response is “I’m great, chilled, relaxed, actually quite rested at the moment. Works going well, no stress, reasonable deadlines, good times.” I haven’t!
I have had the opposite though,where my enquiry seems to be received as an invitation to explain just how busy they are, how full their diary is, how hecticly stressed they are, how the demands on them are crushing the life out of them and then they pause and try to give something that resembles a smile as if to make themselves and others believe, that this busyness is some form of honour, an indication that they have arrived, they’ve reached the pinnacle of what society deems as success. I have arrived!
And yet, we have these Statistics.