This video got me thinking about fathers, and being able to lean on someone. In the township of Masiphumelele (Masi) it's estimated that 87% of the children have no male figure in their home. Notice, it's not even a FATHER figure, just no male figure. Can you imagine living your life without knowing the security and comfort of a strong arms? There is something about the male embrace that is key to childhood development.
I used to love watching Kevin hold the kids when they were babies. Don't you love how new dads form a cocoon around their new little ones and the tiny blankets of new baby get snuggled against their chest?
When the boys get older, the snuggling gets replaced with wrestling. The bear hugs and the sleeper holds are more rambunctious and often break something in the house. But, you know deep down, that is affection in real time.
Whatever our kids do, there's an embrace that corresponds. Whether we are saying good bye, saying we are sorry, or saying congratulations, there are a strong pair of arms to seal that moment. Sometimes its grandpas or grandmas, aunts or uncles, a teacher, a friend.
There's that moment. There's a connection. There's a past, present and future promise. There's an unspoken pledge.
Living life in the 'Have-Not' column means not having the luxury to dream. For the kids in townships in South Africa, making it to the next day is as much of the future as they can plan. For many, there's no promise of security, so there's no reason to take a risk. There's no celebration, so there's no reason to achieve.
Imagine what one set of arms could do:
Arms to lift,
arms to hold,
arms to shield,
arms to beckon,
arms to guide,
arms to love.
Often when I pray, I feel like God is wrapping His arms around me. Sometimes I can hear Him saying, "I know what you're feeling. I've got you."
It's my prayer that God would allow me to be the arms that wrap around a child and say, "I've got you. We're in this together."
|Kevin with a group of boys in Mountain View, a local township in South Africa.|