The story I have to tell concerns my family. I have the privilege of raising three teenage sons as a single dad. They are three total opposites and each very unique. I try to tell them about God’s Love; how transforming it is; how it binds us to one another; how amazing it is, and how easily it can be rejected. For the last couple of years, and many of you can relate, I know nothing. I am apparently a clueless dad, without life experience that has any relevance to them. In their minds, I grew up in an alien world and have no answers to their problems.
It is said it takes a village to raise a child. I very much believe that. Highland Baptist Church is an important part of that village. When I struggle to get through to them, you are able. One of my sons came back from the Miami with Love trip and before we left the second floor of the airport terminal, his most pressing thing to tell me was how he befriended a youngster name Isaiah with whom he had much in common, including challenges. He told me how he tried to get Isaiah to understand that there was always hope and that God did love him, no matter what. These were things I had been trying for years to get my son to understand and through church, I learned he did. One of my sons came back from Passport and declared before we got in the car to go home that he finally felt like he had friends. This is a really big deal.
One of my favorite times is the ride home from church where the discussion is sometimes about the worship service, but usually about the Bible Study. They freely share in animated tones about Jesus, who the Good Samaritan is, what social injustice looks like, how hate manifests itself, what a caring community is and many other topics. Instead of starting a monologue, I now get to join in on their discussion on even touchy subjects like sex and bullying, which all had their roots in Bible Study. The difference is huge.
My children may not notice the dirty socks in the floor in front of them at home, but they do notice what you do. They notice how you care for one another; how you speak kindly to and about each other; how you love everyone, including them. I have been giving financially to the church for years with it never occurring to me that I (and my family) would be a direct beneficiary. I give to keep the building here, to keep the wonderful people on staff, and to keep the missions alive so that others may know God’s Love too. Keep the village strong. Please give!