As we celebrated Father’s Day a few weeks ago, I began reflecting upon my role as father to my three young children. The impact they have on me as a person and the impact I have on them as their father. Eighteen months ago I stepped into the life of a twelve-year-old boy who has been in the state’s custody since he was five. I had no idea the effect it would have on me.
He is a boy who rarely talked about his dad and who would have preferred to build a relationship with a female. Yet, over a year I would connect with him, hang out with him, and care for him on a weekly basis. I thought about him this past Sunday. I thought about this teenager who hasn’t had a relationship with his dad since he was five and whose dad has been in jail for most of his life.
Imagining What Father’s Day Is Like For The Fatherless
I couldn’t help but wonder what his Father’s Day was like. His Father’s Day had probably come and gone without any thought of knowing the person he should celebrate. He couldn’t walk up to his dad and give him a hug or tell him Happy Father’s Day because, for most of his life, his dad wasn’t present. At the same time, I thought about others like him whose Father’s Day would come and go without any recollection of their father.
This Father’s Day, as I reflected upon my role of as a father I was reminded of the gospel and how our God is continuously referred to as the Father to the fatherless. This is the heart of OCA. OCA desires to mobilize the church to step into the brokenness of orphans and show hope to the fatherless. OCA understands not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but we are all called to do something.
What would happen if your church met the needs of the grandmother who has to care for three grandkids because the parents can no longer care for them? What if your church helped a family in danger of losing their child to state custody? How would it look for your church to open up opportunities to build relationships with youth aging out of the foster system?
Our hope at OCA is for the Church to step into the lives of the vulnerable and fatherless to redefine Father’s Day. Through the Church, through your church, you can begin to point the fatherless and vulnerable to our heavenly Father. What a great celebration that would be to honor the true Father not just once a year, but recognize His goodness to us daily.
Thank you, Jonathan Butler for writing this post. Click here to see how you and your church can show the love of Christ to the fatherless.