I don’t believe in coincidences. I’m writing and giving this speech around father’s day. And I didn’t have an earthly father growing up. All I had was our heavenly father. Not having a father is part of the reason I took the path I did. My mother tried. She said I love you, hugged us and even bought us toys and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful.
I love my mother she was a full time student most my childhood. Then a full-time nurse, so she didn’t have time I so desperately needed She had both shoes to fill and I understand…and I understand why she didn’t want to put us threw the daddy interview process.
She worked hard and thankfully took us to church to meet and get to know our one true father who doesn’t abandon or put down. But loves with the never-ending reckless love of God.
I stop going to church won’t go into the reason why, we don’t have that kind of time. I felt lost after that …
So now the streets are raising me, mom’s gone working and when she is home- has a headache and/or is just in a foul mood. I met my dad twice a few phone calls than a rude cassette tape saying how he wouldn’t be my escape goat!
Escape goat –
So no mom most of the time. God’s people pushed me away and now my dad. What is Love? How will I ever become a man? Is this Love? Is this how a man behaves?
Then one night after beating and robbing others for years. I got knocked out by my “brothers” over my hair. It was long – I was rocking the “Kid Rock look”
OK it was a mullet, I wasn’t representing the gang they had a knife ready to cut my hair and possibly me. While I’m knocked out and a brother named Mike who was also raised in the church – stopped them? Not just for Mike, but that they showed me what we had been doing to people.
I’m thankful for that night. I decided to change my life. I’m a different person now and a few years later I met my wife and she helped change me more. Neither one of us had a good childhood growing up or support system. We tried to go to church.
We were poor and never fit in! This is what we told ourselves…so we stayed to ourselves! We are poor, and that is ok! Jesus loves the poor and he loves us all! That should give us so much joy! I didn’t realize secluding us was making us so poor…poor of the spirit! I was angry @ the world and this made my wife and kids so sad. My brother joined a gang and a little brother, especially little brothers who don’t have a father. So I follow suit.
And these guys believe in God. They talk about him in the Literature or “Lit” they gave me. But we robbed and beat people, used and abused woman. We even beat each other! During the sermon on Father’s Day (proverbs 1) a man is waning his son to not join a gang. Looking back – its amazing to see God moving in my life. But even more amazing now my eyes are open to see him as he is moving and I’m chasing him and he is chasing me. But most that movement comes in the form of other people who hear him. Like Miss Mona-no doubt he put her in our life!
And others – like our friends we have bible studies with – The Carters, the Shins, and a pastor I call my friend – Never did I think I’s be friends with a teacher, a banker, or a pastor. Threw bridges we met the Smiths and the Arnetts who we met threw celebrate recovery! They are all new friendships hopefully we can have for a long time! Thank God for them.
When we met Momma Mona as Jo and I Like to call her. We met her in Walmart parking lot – my wife was just released from a mental health facility and we were a mess and needed formula Bad! The compassion in her eyes made me cry as I pulled away. One of the things I earned in bridges is social networking – it’s a new concept to me. So is building bridges….I’m not used to building bridges. I’m used to burning them! It’s safer especially once I became a father. There was no way I was going to let the bullies of this world in.
To the teacher, who called me a dumb thug…It has been on our hearts for a long time, crying out to God for a support system. Not just to help get jobs or money but moral support! Jobs come and go, through bridges I got a job @ flint cliffs, and lost it cause I let my old friends anger and arrogance creep up and almost the next day started working @ Little Caesar’s @ only $.75 pay cut!
Soon I will accept the keys and shift lead position, and take a CNA course Label’s – thug, poor, pizza man, shift lead, manager, factory worker, banker, teacher, pastor, CAN, nurse, social worker. At the end of every day we are his children and he is our father. So I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I just know I’m his and I want to help people.