Something I Read to the Men in Church Today

Men:

I want to tell you

That you are beautiful and brilliant and beloved.  No matter what you do, what you’ve done, what you’ve left undone or how terrible of a man you’ve been—your beauty, your brilliance, and your belovedness—these things have been true, are true, and will be true.

I want to tell you

That the world is not only against you; it is against every good that can come from you, so equip yourself with a power greater than yourself and find the grace of God that has a track record of defeating the strongest enemies.

I want to tell you

That the greatest thing you can be is a gift to somebody else.  So wrap yourself up in the hope that you can be that generous, that you can turn your desires toward another, and make sure somebody else has the things you have, gets the things you get, and will have a fraction of the life you’ve had.

I want to encourage you

To stay with the best ways you’ve been taught to love.  We don’t usually learn to love so when we find little ways, we need to practice them so we don’t forget them, hold them while learn to love better, and appreciate our growth in the process.

I want to encourage you

To keep to some goal in your face, to be careful who you share it with, and to be relentless in pursuing it because even if you fail, you will succeed at a behavior that is more Christian you know, more formative than you can imagine, and more enriching than success.

I want to encourage you

To enjoy yourself at least once a day, which means you’ll need to find joy in your work, in your home, in your leisure, and in your nothingness.  Slowly inspect these spheres of life so that you always, every day, find joy.  It’s there.  Whether it seems hidden, when it seems altogether gone, joy is underneath the parts of your day, and it’s waiting for your discovery.

I want to remind you

That you will be greeted by hell every week, that you will be visited by enemies every day, that you will be undone by the hour, that you will be deconstructed at personal and systemic levels, so if you are not serious about finding your sustenance outside of society, you will find death without life.  If you are not serious about finding strength in the source who is God, you will find brokenness without hope.  If you are not serious about placing Mystery in front of you, you will never be covered from back to front with the power that is undefeated.

I want to challenge you

To love every woman with such skill that she will respect you, with such honor that she will speak well of you, with such care that she will trust you, and with such admiration that she will feel safe with you.

I want to challenge you

To sit alone, with yourself, for 10 minutes a day, sitting in silence, sitting and listening to the voice of God as it comes to you even if it sounds scary or strange or welcoming.

I want to challenge you

To find the people in the world who make you feel like yourself and spend time with them.  They may be the truest, rarest gifts from God you have.

I want to challenge you

To be someone’s father this year, biological or not.  Be a man who some child can look up to, call when she needs you, question when he wonders something, claim when no one else steps up for them.  Be the man who stands in the gap for a single mother or who stands alongside another father.  Be the support, the presence, the strength, the weakness, the shoulder, the legs, the backbone.  Live all year and hear this greeting in some form regularly: Happy Father’s day.

And may your children love you.

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