Said, "Thanks for the ball, dad, come on and let's play
Can you teach me to throw?" I said, "Not today
I got a lot to do" he said, "That's okay"
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
Said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know, I'm gonna be like him"
Those are the words from the well known Harry Chapin song; Cats in the Cradle. Thanksgiving day those words were ringing in my mind as I helped in an endeavor to clean out the church a bit. I was first in charge of cleaning out the office. There was dust, dead and live cockroaches, cobwebs, bird feather, and so much more. All of this pales in comparison to what I had to clean in the kitchen. I’ll give you a hint; they are small white, look like a worm and are often found with rotting meat….ewww ewww ewww!!! Anyway, as I cleaned that office I found many interesting things, among which were un-gifted mothers day and fathers day gifts, kindergarten graduation plaques of some of the kids from church, old event programs, toys, and a few unused and used baseballs.
As I looked at those baseballs the earlier mentioned song came to mind. I could give them to any of the boys in church but who would play catch with them? Of course they have their friends, but in my mind for whatever reason I was stuck on the idea that it should be their father. I started to think of what a system we take for granted. The whole concept of “family” is being trashed and redefined, while I sit in the D.R. and can clearly see how much a young boy needs a father. Those baseballs reflected the relationship of father and son as it is seen here in the D.R., dusty and foreign. Dads may not be consumed with power, money, or other things, but they certainly are not concerned so much for their own children either. If they were concerned they would know the best thing for a child is to know the love of both parents. They would know that even at a distance their children look to them to see and know what type of person they should aspire to be. They would know they are being watched and longed for.
Color the page however you like, one truth remains; when young men don’t have proper role models and the women of a culture do not value a man for what he has to offer towards the upbringing and development of not just the child but the family, the system falls apart. Try teaching respect to children who run the home without a father present. Try encouraging young men to be good leaders when the only leader he knew was his mother who spoke ill of all men. Try telling an adolescent boy raised by a single mother that if he impregnates a young girl, he too holds a responsibility to love, care and protect child and mother; he would tell you that he isn’t needed. After all, his mom did it all without a man. Little boys don’t just grow up to treat women how they treat their moms; they grow up to treat their moms the way they see their fathers treating their moms, and their wives the same.
I thank God for being true man! I thank God that he is bigger than any feministic narrow minded b.s. and knew all our needs before we ourselves knew them. He knew we would need a true father. From stupid men who do not own their masculinity to stupid women who emasculate the men, God knew it only would take one perfect man to break that cycle of stupidity. One man to die. One man to humble himself in order that we might have an Eternal father in heaven. As I looked at those baseballs I felt a bit sad, but then I looked up and noticed down the isle was the font. The very place where we are made children of God and given back all that was lost and made heirs of our heavenly father. I’m so thankful this season no only for my earthly father, future husband, and all the other men who have looked to God first and foremost for an example of masculinity, but I am also thankful for my heavenly Father who is perfect Man for all and the One I can look to when other men fall short of knowing how to be man.