Last week America experienced two mass shootings on the same day! Lots of folks were advocating for various causes, almost before the dust settled. One “cause” that almost goes unnoticed is that of “fatherlessness.” A VERY high percentage of these mass murderers were raised in homes with no fathers. A little internet search tells me that kids raised with no fathers are also twice as likely to drop out of school, four times as likely to continue the pattern of out-of-wedlock parenting, poverty, etc. Yes, many, through grit, determination and (of course) Jesus grow up and do fine, but the “odds” are very much stacked against them. My concern is for something I call “virtual fatherlessness” and I think it exists, even in great churches today. This clipping from a bulletin insert the same year I first became a father, illustrates it well:
A young man was to be sentenced to the penitentiary. The judge had known him from childhood, for he was well acquainted with his father–a famous legal scholar and the author of an exhaustive study entitled, “The Law of Trusts.” “Do you remember your father?” asked the magistrate. “I remember him well, your honor,” came the reply. Then trying to probe the offender’s conscience, the judge said, “As you are about to be sentenced and as you think of your wonderful dad, what do you remember most clearly about him?” There was a pause. Then the judge received an answer he had not expected. “I remember when I went to him for advice. He looked up at me from the book he was writing and said, ‘Run along, boy; I’m busy!’ When I went to him for companionship, he turned me away, saying “Run along, son; this book must be finished!’ Your honor, you remember him as a great lawyer. I remember him as a lost friend.” The magistrate muttered to himself, “Alas! Finished the book, but lost the boy!”
Homemade, February, 1989.
You can’t take one dime with you to heaven, but you can take your kids!
Because of Grace,